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One Syllable. 





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with this Edition of " 

The Swiss Family 




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The kind reception given to the 
author's system of writing in words of 
one syllable has encouraged her to add 
to her works the popular story of 
" The Swiss Family Robinson " as a 
twin book to " Robinson Crusoe." 
The monosyllabic rule has been strictly 
adhered to throughout, the only excep- 
tion occurring necessarily in the title of 
the book itself. The author's object 
has been to provide what the reviewer 
of her former works in the Athenczum 
has called " a field of exercise for a 
child who has just learnt to conquer 
words." " There is sure to be some 
success," he continues ; " and it is a 
great point in all teaching to let the 
^ first independent exercise be one in 
% which victory is really to be won by 
£ moderate effort." 




For six days a fierce wind set in, which 
tore our sails to shreds ; the white foam 
of the waves swept our decks, and the 
storm drove our ship so far out of its 
course, that there was no one on board 
who could tell where we w T ere. All 
were worn out with toil and care, and the 
oaths of the men were heard no more, 
but they fell on their knees to pray. 

My wife and boys clung round me 
in great dread ; but I said to them, 
" God can save us if He will. He 
knows each rock that lies hid, and 
sees each storm as it comes; yet if He 

2 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

should think it good to call us to 
Him, let us not grieve at it: we shall 
not part." At these words I saw my 
wife dry her tears, and from that time 
she was more calm. 

All at once we heard the cry of 
" Land ! Land ! " The ship had struck 
on a rock, and the force of the shock 
with which she went threw us off our 

Then came a loud crack as if the 
ship had split in two, when we heard 
the chief mate call out, " Launch the 
boats !" , These words went like a 
sword through my heart, and the 
cries of my boys grew more and more 

" Fear not, my dear ones," said I ; 
" the ship still lifts us out of the sea, 
and the land is near. Stay here, and 
I will try to save you." 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 3 

I went on deck, but was soon thrown 
down by the wild surge of the sea. 
Once more there came a wave of such 
huge bulk that I strove with it in 
vain, and fell flat on the deck. 

The ship was all but in two. The 
whole of the crew had got in the boat, 
and I could see the last man cut the 
rope. I gave a loud call for them to wait 
till we could join them ; but from the 
roar of the waves my voice was not 
heard, and all hope from the boat was 

The stern, which held those most 
dear to me on earth, stood like a wedge, 
with a rock on each side of it. I could 
see in the south a trace of land, which 
though wild and bare, was now the 
aim of all my hopes ; for there was no 
more aid to be had from man. 

I left the deck to go down to my 

R 2 

4 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

wife and boys. I then put on a calm 
look, and said, " Be of good cheer. If 
the wind should go down we may yet 
reach the land." 

This made my dear boys dry their 
tears, for at all times they put their 
trust in what I told them. But my 
wife, who knew best how to read my 
thoughts, saw how full of care they 
were ; and by a sign I made known 
to her that I had not much hope that 
the wind would go down. 

" Let us take some food," said she ; 
" it will give us strength." 

Night came on, and it grew dark ; 
we heard the wild waves boil with rage, 
and they tore down the planks with 
a loud crash. " How could the boats 
live through such a storm as this ? " 
thought I. 

The boys went to bed and slept, all 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 5 

but Fritz, whom I took with me on 
deck to watch. He and I could swim ; 
but as the rest could not, we set our 
thoughts to work out some plan by 
which we could get them to land, 
should the ship break up. 

There were casks on board, *and we 
thought we might bind two of them fast 
with ropes, and leave a space in which 
to place one of the boys, who might put 
an arm in each cask, and so float to 
shore ; the same for the rest of them, 
and one for my wife. We put by 
some knives, string, and such like 
things, which we thought might be 
of use in case we should reach the 

At length Fritz, worn out with hard 
work, fell to sleep. My wife and I 
had too much on our minds for rest. 
We brought the load of our grief, our 

6 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

doubts, and fears, to the throne of God, 
and left them there ; for we did our 
best not to give way to them, lest they 
should chill our sense of God's love, 
and dry up the spring of our faith in 
His might. 

Oh, how the time did seem to lag 
with us through that long dark night ! 
But, like all things else, it came to an 
end at last. Words are too weak to 
tell of the joy with which I saw from 
the deck the first faint streak of dawn 
shoot up the sky. 

The wind was now more calm, the 
sea less rough, and this brought a ray 
of hope to my heart. I went to fetch 
my wife and boys on deck ; and the 
young ones were struck with awe to 
find no one there. " The crew, where 
are they ? " said they. " Who works 
the ship ? " 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 7 

" My boys," said I, " One more 
strong than man has brought us through 
it till now, and if He think fit He 
will stretch out His arm to save us. 
Let all hands set to work, and think 
the while on this, God helps us 
when we help those round us. Now 
we must think of what it will be best 
for us to do." 

Fritz. — " Let us leap in the sea and 
swim to shore." 

Ned. — " That may do well for you 
who can swim ; but all the rest of us 
would sink. Can we not make a raft 
on which we could all go ? " 

" That might do," said I, "if we 
had strength for the work, and if a 
raft were a more safe thing to go to 
land on. But set off, boys, all of you, 
and seek for what there is on board 
that may be of use to us." 

8 The Swiss Family Robinson, 

As for me, I made my way to 
where the food was kept, and my wife 
went to the live stock and fed them, 
for they were much in want of food. 
Fritz sought for arms, and Ned for 
tools. Jack, by chance, went were the 
Chief Mate's two great dogs were 
kept, who leapt on him in play, and 
were so rough that he gave a cry, as 
he thought they meant to tear him ; 
but want of food had made them too 
weak to be fierce, and in a short time 
he got up from where he fell, and rode 
on the back of one of the dogs, and 
with a grave look came up to me as 
I left the hold whence I had been 
drawn by his cries. I could not keep 
a smile from my face when I told him 
of the great risk he had run, and that 
he ought to be on his guard with dogs 
that had been kept from food so long. 

The Swiss Family Robinson. g 

Now my boys all came round me 
with their stores. Fritz had found six 
guns, some bags of shot, and some 
horn flasks, and these held all that we 
could want for the use of our arms. 
Ned brought an axe, a spade, knives, 
nails, and the like ; but young Frank 
brought a large box, which it was as 
much as he could do to hold, and when 
the rest of the lads saw what was in 
it, they gave a loud laugh. " You may 
laugh if you will," said I, " but Frank 
has brought the best prize of all, for 
these fish hooks, of which I see the 
box is full, may save our lives ; still 
Fritz and Ned have done well too." 

" For my part," said my wife, " I do 
but bring good news. I have found 
a cow, an ass, two goats, six sheep, and 
a sow. I have fed them, and I hope 
they will do well." 

io The Swiss Family Robinson. 

I told my boys that I thought they 
had all done great things, save Jack. 
" But," said I, "he has brought me 
two great mouths to fill, which will do 
more harm than good." 

Jack. — " The dogs can help us to 
hunt when we get to land." 

"Ah!" said I, "but can you tell 
us how to reach the land ? " 

" Yes," said my brave Frank, " put 
us each in a great tub and let us float 
to shore. I went on Aunts pond in 

" A good thought ! " said I ; "we may 
take a hint from a child. Be quick, 
boys, give me the saw, with some 
nails, and we will see what we can 

I found some casks in the ship's 
hold, which we brought on deck ; they 
were made of strong wood, and were 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 1 1 

bound with hoops ; in fact, were just 
the right thing. My boys and I cut 
each of these four casks in two with 
our saw ; but it was a work of great 
toil to join eight tubs, so as to make 
them all the same height. 

We drank some wine which we found 
in one of the casks, and this gave us fresh 
strength for our work. At last our job 
came to an end, and we. saw with joy 
our small fleet of boats all in a line ; 
yet I could not guess how it was that 
my wife should be still so sad at heart. 

" I could not trust my life in 
one of those tubs ! " said she. But 
I told her to wait till the work was 
done. I then sought out a long thin 
plank, and put the tubs on it ; but 
left a piece at each end to form a curve 
like the keel of a ship. We then 
drove in nails to make the tubs firm 

1 2 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

to the planks, and in the same way 
put boards on each side of it, so as 
to make a sort of boat, which I thought 
might float in a calm sea. 

But to our grief we found that our 
raft was of such a weight that we could 
not move it an inch. I sent Fritz to 
bring me the jack screw, and with this 
and a thick pole I found I could lift 
one end of the boat. Ned said he 
thought the screw was slow. " What 
we gain in time we lose in force," said 
I. " The jack is not meant to move 
fast, but to raise weights ; and the more 
weight there is, of course the more slow 
it must be." I then took a strong rope 
to fix to the stern of the boat, one end 
of which I bound fast to the beam 
of the ship. I next put two round 
poles for the boat to roll on, and went 
to work with the jack to launch it. 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 1 3 

The boys all stood on the ship's deck 
in great joy to see it glide off, and then 
float like a swan on the waves ; and 
had it not been for the rope, it would 
have gone off to sea. But our raft 
leant so much to one side that there 
was not one of the boys who would 
dare to go in it. 

At this I was quite cast down, when 
all at once I thought the cause must 
be that it was too light : so I threw in 
all I could lay hold of, and soon made 
my boat fit for use. 

" Which of us is to go in first ? " said 
the boys, who all made a rush at once. 
But this I put a stop to, as I thought 
that — full of fun as they were — they 
might tip the boat on one side, and get 
thrown in the sea. 

It was now time to clear the way for 
the flight. I got in one of the tubs and 

14 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

made the boat fast in a cleft in the 
ship's side. I then came back with 
an axe and a saw, and cut off from the 
wreck, right and left, all that might 
come in our way. The next thing was 
to look out for some oars, and we had 
the good luck to find some. 

This had been a day of hard work 
for us all. One more night was to be 
spent on board the wreck, though we 
knew not that it would be there till the 
dawn of the next day. And now we 
sat down to a meal, for we had scarce 
had time to snatch a piece of bread all 
day. We then went to rest, and were 
more at our ease than we had been on 
the past night. 

I thought the best thing my wife 
could do would be to wear the dress of 
a youth who had been one of the ship's 
crew, as it would be more warm, and 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 1 5 

would suit the raft best, and be most 
fit for all the toils that were in store for 
her. She felt strange in her new dress, 
but at last I saw her laugh at it, as did 
our young ones. She then went to her 
berth and slept well, which gave her 
strength for the next day. 


At dawn we all woke up, and I said, 
" We must now, my dear boys, go on 
the wide sea in search of a home. 
Give all the poor beasts on board the 
wreck food to last them for some days. 
We could not take them with us, but 
we might come back in our tubs for 
them. Are you all here ? Get what 
you wish to take with you, but let it be 

1 6 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

things that will meet our wants when 
we get to land." 

I had put the guns on our raft, and 
I told my wife and the lads each to 
seek for a game bag, a chest of tools 
and nails, and sails to make a tent 
with ; and the boys brought so much 
that I thought we must leave half, 
though I took out of the tubs those 
things which I had thrown in to give 

Just as we got on board the cock 
gave a loud crow as a hint that we had 
left no food for him and the hens. So 
I took all the birds with us, geese, 
ducks, fowls, and doves. We put 
twelve of them in a tub with a lid 
to it, and the rest we let loose, in the 
hopes that the geese and ducks might 
swim to shore, and the fowls and doves 
fly there. 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 1 7 

Where was my wife all this time ? 
She came at last with a huge bag, which 
she threw in the tub that held her dear 
Frank, and I made sure it was meant 
for a seat for him. 

This is the way we each took our 
place on the raft: — In the first tub sat 
my wife ; in the next, Frank ; in the 
third, Fritz, a good big boy, with sound 
sense and full of life ; in the fourth, our 
dear Jack, ten years old, yet stout of 
heart ; and the fifth and sixth held all 
sorts of food. Then in the next tub 
stood Ned, who was twelve years old, 
with more thought of self than the rest, 
and slow to move. I was in the eighth 
tub, bent on my task, which was to 
guide the boat that held all that was 
most dear to me in this world. 

As we left the wreck the tide rose, 
which I thought might be a help to us. 

1 8 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

We each took an oar, in hopes that in 
the end we should reach the blue 
shore. But, oh, how far off it did 
seem ! 

For some time it was all in vain, as 
the boat would turn round and round. 
But at last I found the way to steer it 
so as to make it go straight on. 

As soon as the two dogs saw us 
leave the ship, they leapt in the sea and 
swam up to us ; but though my boys 
had a great wish to take them with us, 
I could not let them come in the boat, 
lest they should tip it down on one side. 
This was a source of great grief to all, 
for we did not think they would have 
the strength to swim to shore. Be that 
as it might, Spring and Flox took to 
the waves with a dash, as much as to 
say they did not mean to be left. They 
came up now and then to put their fore 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 19 

paws on the raft, and by this means 
they kept up with us. 

We went on and on, and I had much 
doubt if we should reach the land. 
As we drew near to it, my hopes were 
the more faint, so drear did the coast 
seem; and, worst of all, it had a dark 
ridge of rocks in front of it, that wore 
the look of a frown, as if to warn us off. 

Now and then we came up to some 
casks from the wreck, and we drew 
them with us all the way, by means 
of a rope. We did not cease to ply 
our oars till we got to the coast, and 
then, to our great joy, we found a break 
in the chain of the rocks, and the sharp 
eye of Fritz made out some trees. I 
could not see them, but, by good luck, 
Jack had brought a small glass, which 
he drew from his pouch with some 
pride, and gave it to me. ■ By the aid 

c 2 

20 The Szuiss Family Robinson. 

of this I saw a small creek with rocks 
on each side of it ; and as I found that 
the ducks and geese made up to it, 
I knew it was all right. It was, in 
short, a small bay, and there we got 
on shore. 

All who could do so leapt to land in 
a trice ; and our poor Frank, who had 
been laid down in his tub like a salt 
fish, did his best to crawl out, but had 
to wait for my wife to help him. The 
dogs, which were the first to get to 
shore, leapt round us with a loud bark ; 
the ducks and the geese kept up their 
cry ; and the fowls, which we had just 
let loose, lent their cluck. All these 
sounds, with the noise of the boys' talk, 
made a strange din. 

The first thing we did when we 
came safe to land, was to bow down 
and give thanks to God, in whose 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 2 1 

hands were our lives. To cast off our 
own strength, and lay hold of the 
Lord's, is the way to be strong — too 
strong for earth and hell to shake us. 

If we make God our guide, how can 
we go wrong? If we make Him our 
shield, why need we fear? If we make 
His Word the lamp of our feet, how 
can we stray ? He is our life, our 
God, our all ; the Lord is our strength. 

When we took all we had out of the 
boat — how rich we felt with these few 
things ! We found a good place for 
our tent in the shade of the rocks : so 
we set to work with a pole and pegs, 
and then we brought out the food. 

I sent my sons to fetch some grass 
and moss to spread in the sun to dry, 
that we might sleep on it at night, and 
while all the boys, down to Frank, 
were at work at this, I found a place 

22 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

near a stream for us to cook in. The 
flat stones of the rock made a good 
hearth, and it did not take long to light 
up a bright fire of dry twigs ; then 
I put in the pot some squares of the 
new kind of soup, and left my wife and 
Frank to cook our meal. The poor 
child took this soup for glue, and said 
he knew not how he could dine as there 
was no meat to dress. 

To land the guns was Fritz's care, 
and he took one of them with him to 
the side of the stream. Ned would 
not join him, for the rough road was 
not to his taste : so he bent his way to 
the coast. Jack set off to a ridge of 
rocks which ran down to the sea 
to look for shell fish, while I went 
to try and draw some of the casks on 
shore. But I found that the place 
where I had come to land was too steep 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 23 

to get them up ; so I went in search 
of one that lay more on a line with the 
sea. I had not been there long when 
I heard screams from my dear Jack. 
I took up my axe and ran to his aid, 
and found him up to his knees in a 
pool with a huge crab, which held his 
leg tight in its sharp claw. Though 
the crab made off when I came up, 
I did not lose sight of it, and as Jack 
had a mind to take it home, I gave 
it to him. But as soon as he took the 
crab in his hand, it gave him such a 
blow that the poor boy threw it off and 
set up a sad wail once more, and it was 
as much as I could do to keep a smile 
from my lips. In a great rage my boy 
flung a large stone at it, which put an 
end to its life. When we came back 
to the tent Jack said in a loud voice, 
"A crab ! Such a huge crab ! Ned ! 

24 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

where's Fritz ? Take care it does not 
bite you, Frank ! " They all soon 
came round him. " Yes, here's the 
claw that caught hold of my leg," quoth 
Jack ; " but I paid him out, the rogue ! " 

" What is it that you boast of?" said 
I. "You would not have come off so 
well, had I not brought you aid in time ; 
and, pray, do you not call to mind the 
blow on your face ? The poor crab 
did but make use of his arms to save 
his life ; but you had to hurl a great 
stone at him with yours : so you have 
no cause to be proud, my boy." 

Ned thought the crab would be a 
good thing to put in the soup, but my 
wife set it by for the next day. I then 
went to that part of the shore where 
it had been caught, and drew my casks 
to land there. 

I told Jack that he was the first boy 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 25 

to bring us food, for none of the rest 
had done so. 

" I saw some shell fish on a rock," 
said Ned ; " but I could not get at them, 
for the sea made my feet wet." 

" Nay," said I, " I must beg of you 
to get us some then ; for we must all 
work for the good of the rest, and take 
no heed of wet feet, for the sun soon 
dries them." 

" I may as well bring some salt at 
the same time," said he ; "I saw lots 
of it in the cracks of the rocks, and 
I think it must have been left there 
by the sea." 

" No doubt, my young sage," said I. 
" Where else could it have come from ? 
And you would have done more good 
to fill a bag with it, than to dwell on 
the laws that brought it there. But 
if you wish to eat your soup with a zest, 

26 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

be quick and get some salt." So he 
set off, and soon came back with some ; 
but it was full of sand and earth. 

To stir the pot my wife made use 
of a small stick, and when she came to 
taste that which clung to it, she said, 
" The soup is good, but how are we 
to drink it ? We have brought no 
plates nor spoons ! And how can we 
raise this large pot to our lips ? " 

We all cast a grave look at the pot- — 
our grave look then grew to a dull gaze 
— when all at once we burst out in a 
loud laugh at our sad plight. 

"If we had but some large nuts," 
said Ned, " we might split them and 
make both spoons and plates of them ! " 

" If," said I ; " but we have none ! 
We might as well wish for some fine 
gold spoons with our coat of arms on 
them, if it were of use to wish." 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 2 7 

" Well," said Ned, " we can use 

" That is a good thought," said I ; 
" set off, Ned, at once, and get some. 
And mind, my brave boys, no grunts, 
and groans, though we find it hard to 
hold our spoons, and you should have 
to dip your hands in the hot soup." 

"At these words off ran Jack, who 
was up to his knees in the sea by the 
time that Ned had got to the spot. 
He tore down the shells from the rocks 
and threw them to Ned, who put them 
in his game bag (but took good care to 
let a large one fall in his pouch for his 
own use), and then they came back 
with their spoil. 

Fritz had not yet come home, and 
my wife was full of care lest all was not 
right with him ; but just then we heard 
his voice hail us some way off. He 

28 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

soon came up with a feint that he was 
sad, and at the same time hid his hands. 
But Jack, who took a peep, said in 
a loud voice (by way of a joke), " Good 
sport ; a young pig ! " The beast 
which Fritz had shot was in truth no 
pig at all, but a kind of hare, which 
lives on nuts and fruit. 

Though all the rest of the boys had 
a wish to hear Fritz tell of what he 
had seen and done, I thought it right 
to take my son Jack to task for the 
false tale he had spread, though but 
in jest. 

Fritz told us he had been on the left 
side of the stream, where the land lies 
low ; and " as to the casks," said he, 
" I could not count them, to say not 
a word of chests, planks, and all sorts 
of things from the wreck. Should we 
not do well to go and fetch them ? 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 29 

And at dawn of day we ought to go 
there to look to the live stock, for we 
must at least have the cow : our bread 
cakes would not be half so hard if 
we had some milk to soak them in." 

Ned. — " How much more nice, too, 
they would be ! " 

Fritz. — " Then I found a wood, and 
some rich grass for the cow. I can't 
see why we should stay down here, in 
this dull nook." 

" Stay," said I, " we are but just 
come ! But first tell me, did you see 
a trace of our poor ship mates ?" 

Fritz. — " No sign at all of man on 
land or sea ; but I saw a strange sort 
of beast as big as a hog, with feet like 
a hare." 

The time had now come to sit down 
to our meal of soup ; the boys all burnt 
their hands, of course, save Ned, who 

30 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

took his large shell from his pouch, and 
when it was full of soup, set it down to 
cool, quite proud of it. 

" You have shown some thought, my 
dear Ned," said I ; "but how is it you 
take so much more care of your own 
self than of the rest ? Now, pray, give 
what is in the large shell to those poor 
dogs. We can all dip our shells in the 
pot, but the dogs can't do so : so they 
may have your soup, and you must eat 
as we do." 

This struck the heart of Ned, and 
when he put his shell on the ground 
the dogs took their meal from it. As 
we all sat with our eyes cast on our 
shells to wait for the soup to get cool, 
the dogs fell on Fritz's hare (for so he , 
chose to call it). All the boys sprang 
up to drive them off; but Fritz, in a 
great rage, took up his gun and struck 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 31 

one of them with the stock end of it, 
till the force of the blows bent it, and 
would have been the death of the dog 
if I had not held him back.. 

As soon as he had had time to cool 
I took him to task, and told him he had 
thrown us all in a state of great fear ; 
and, what was still worse, he had spoilt 
the gun, which might have been of so 
much use to us ; add to this the hard 
blows he gave would kill most dogs. 
" Rage such as this," said I, " leads to 
all crime. Do you not know what Cain 
did ? " 

" Oh," said Fritz, " I grieve to think 
of what I have done." 

As soon as we had had our meal 
the fowls came round us to pick up the 
crumbs. My wife then took out her 
bag, and fed them with some grain. 
When they had had their fill, our 

32 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

doves flew to the rocks, the fowls took 
their perch on the tent, and the ducks 
and geese went to roost in a marsh near 
the sea. 

The sun sank all at once, and it was 
time for us to go to rest. We took 
care to load the guns, then knelt down 
to pray, and went to our beds of moss ; 
but, hot as the day had been, we found 
the night was cold. 

Once more I took a peep out, to see 
if all was still, and then lay down to 
rest, and we all slept. 


At break of day I heard the cock 
crow ; in fact, it woke me from my 
sleep. The first thing I did was to 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 33 

rouse up my wife, and tell her of a plan 
I had thought of, which was to go all 
round the coast of the isle in search 
of our friends from the wreck, and she 
thought as I did, that this ought to be 
our first care. 

My wife, who saw that we could not 
ull go, said she would stay where she 
was with her three young ones, while 
Fritz and I went on our search. I 
told her that to get back by the light of 
day we must start at once, and should 
want a good meal first ; yet what was 
there for us to eat ? " Jack's great 
crab will be the thing," said she ; but 
it was not to be found. So whilst my 
wife made up the fire and put on the 
pot, I woke up the boys. " Where is 
the crab?" said I to Jack; and he 
brought it from a hole in the rock, 
where he had put it to be out of the 


34 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

reach of the dogs, which ate up all that 
they could find. Said I to Jack, 
" Will you give up your crab to Fritz ? 
We think the claw that caught hold 
of your leg will make a good meal for 
him to start on, for we shall soon be on 
a long march, and we must first break 
our fast." 

When he heard this, Jack gave up 
his crab with a good grace. 

Ned and the two young ones leapt 
round me like kids, to beg of me to let 
them join us. " But," said I, "if you 
all go, who is to take care of our new 
home ? " 

I meant to take Turk, and with him 
and our gun I thought we should make 
a great show of strength. I then bade 
Fritz tie up Flox and get out the guns. 

Fritz gave a deep blush, and did his 
best to get his gun straight. I let him 

The Swiss Family Robinson, 35 

go on for some time, and then told him 
to take one of mine, for I knew he felt 
pain for what he had done. The dog, 
too, gave a snarl at him ; but though 
he held out some of the hard bread to 
him, and gave him a kind stroke on the 
head, still it was all one, for Turk 
would not trust him, while Flox would 
lick his hand. 

" Give him the claw of my crab," 
said Jack. 

" Fear not, Jack, my boy," said Ned, 
'£. for they will be sure to meet with 
nuts. Think of a nut as big as your 
head, with a cup full of milk in it ! " 

" Please bring it to me if you find 
one, Fritz," said Frank. 

I then told them all that we would 
pray to God first to bless our work, 
and then lose no time, but set off at 

D 2 

36 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

" Ding dong ! Ding dong ! Ding 
dong ! " said my wild Jack, as in play 
he took off the sound of the church 
bells ; but I chid him for it, and told 
him that though love for the Lord was 
a thing of joy, yet it was not right to 
joke while we were on our knees to 
pray to Him. 

Poor Jack came and knelt down close 
to me, to show me that he saw what 
I had said to him in the same light as 
I did. I gave all the three boys a 
kiss, and took leave of my wife and 

I thought it best to load the gun 
which I had left with my wife, and told 
her to keep near the boat, as it would 
prove her best friend in time of need. 
We all wept when we took leave, for we 
did not know what our fate might be ; but 
the noise of the swift stream which we 

The Swiss Family Robinson, 37 

had to cross would seem to drown the 
sobs of those we had left, and we bent 
our thoughts on the work we had in 

We each took a large bag for game, 
a gun, and an axe. The right bank of 
the stream was so steep that there was 
but one place through which we could 
cross it, and that was near the sea. 
But at last, with some toil, we got to 
the left bank. We had not gone more 
than a few yards through grass which 
was as tall as we were, when we heard 
a noise as if some wild beast ran 
through it up to the spot where we 

I felt proud to see that Fritz was so 
brave as to stand and point his gun 
to the place whence the sound came. 
What was our joy to find that this fierce 
foe should turn out to be Turk, whom 

38 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

our grief, when we took leave of my 
dear ones, drove from our thoughts, 
and we made no doubt that they had 
sent him off to join us. Fritz did 
not fire, and I gave him all praise 
for this, as by so rash an act we should 
have lost our best friend. 

The sea was on our left, and on our 
right ran a chain of rocks, from the side 
of which spread fine woods, and on the 
skirts of these we took our w T ay. We 
kept a bright look out for our ship 
mates. Fritz had a great wish to fire 
his gun to show them where we were, 
in case they might be near us ; but 
I told him I thought there would be 
a risk in that, for if there were wild 
tribes on the isle, they might rush on 
us, and kill us. 

Fritz — -" I can't see why we should 
search for the crew at all. I am sure 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 39 

the brutes left us to our fate on the 
wreck ! " 

" Fritz," said I, "we must do good to 
those that hate us, if they stand in need 
of our help. You must bear in mind 
that we have things from the wreck 
which they have as much right to as 
we, and that there would not have been 
room for us in the boats ; add to this, 
if they were cast in the sea by the storm, 
which I make no doubt they were, we 
should have been lost too." 

Fritz — " But we might make such 
good use of our time if we were to go 
to the wreck to bring the live stock on 

" Should we not do more good," said 
I, "to save the life of a man than that 
of an ass, or a cow ? The beasts on 
board the ship have food to last them 
some days, and while the sea is so calm 
there is no fear." 

4-0 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

We now came to a small wood which 
ran down to the sea shore, in the shade 
of which we ate our food, whilst birds 
stood on the boughs all round us, whose 
gay plumes made up for their harsh 

Turk gave a loud bark at what we 
thought must be an ape in one of the 
trees, and when Fritz ran to look out 
for it, he fell on a large round bird's 
nest ; at least, so he thought it was. 
But when I broke the shell, I found it 
was one of the nuts which Ned had 
set his heart on. 

" But," said Fritz," where is the 
sweet milk which he talks so much 

I told him the milk was found in the 
nuts when they were half ripe ; but as 
this nut was ripe, the juice had got 
thick and hard. 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 41 

It took us a long time to get through 
the wood ; but at last we left this maze 
of boughs and roots, and came to a 
broad plain, where, to my joy, I found 
the gourd tree, which bears fruit on its 

" The shells of these gourds/' said I, 
" will make plates, cups, spoons, and 

Fritz leapt with glee at the thought. 

" Now we can drink our soup like 
men of high rank," said he ; and he 
soon set to work to cut spoons from the 
rind, in which he put sand, so that the 
sun should not warp them, and left 
them to dry till we came back. 

" Can you tell me why the gourd 
tree bears fruit on the stem, and not on 
the boughs ?" said I. 

" To be sure ; the boughs would not 
bear the weight of it," quoth he. 

42 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

We then set out once more on our 
search, and I took up my glass to spy 
round me, but saw no signs of our 
friends. At last we got to a tongue 
of land that ran out in the sea, to the 
top of which we came at last with much 
toil, and from it we had a fine view 
of sea and land, but still no trace of 
man ; and I felt sure that our mates 
had been lost in the sea. 

We now sat down once more to rest. 
" This sea," said I, "which looks so 
calm, ought to fill our minds with 
thoughts of peace ; yet while I think 
of those who, but four days since, were 
swept off by the rude lash of its wild 
waves, and, as I fear, lie dead in this 
smooth sea, its smile would seem to 
mock them ! " 

We had now to pass through ground 
on which grew a vast crop of canes, 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 43 

which made it hard work for us to walk, 
and I felt some fear that there might 
be snakes in it, which I knew chose 
out such spots, so we made Turk go 
in front of us, that he might start them, 
and with his loud bark put us on our 

When I cut the canes, I was much 
struck to see a juice like glue come 
out, and of course I must needs taste 
it. I found it was sweet, and gave me 
as much strength as a glass of wine. 
But when Fritz put it to his lips, he 
said, — 

"Oh, such luck! What will the 
boys say to this ? " 

He ate so much of it that I felt 
bound to check him ; and when we 
left he took a load of the canes on his 

We now came to a wood of palm 

44 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

trees, where a group of apes took fright 
at us, and at the bark of the dog they 
fled to the top of the trees, and there, 
with grins and shrill cries, sat to watch 
us. I held back Fritz's arm, for he 
would have shot at them. 

"We have no right," said I, " to kill, 
save for food ; and, in fact, these apes 
will be of more use to us with life in 
them, than if they were dead, as I will 
show you. I then threw stones at 
them, and they in their rage took nuts 
by the score to hurl at me, so we soon 
had a good store of the nuts, from 
which we drank the milk. We gave 
Turk the rest of the crab, bound up 
a store of nuts by the stems, and set off 
on our way home. 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 45 


As we went, we must needs suck the 
canes, for they were so good, till Fritz 
had great fears that there would be but 
a poor feast for those whom we had left 
at home. But I told him I thought 
there was more cause of fear from the 
sun, which might turn the juice sour ; 
in that case there would be no need to 
spare them. 

" Well, my flask is full of milk for 
them, that's one good thing," said 

" Nay," said I, "there is more fear 
still of the nuts, for you may make sure 
that they will turn sour." 

We now got to the spot where we 
had left the spoons, and we found them 

46 The Swiss Family Robinson* 

quite dry, and as hard as a bone. We 
had not gone far when Turk made a 
dart at a troop of apes, who sprang from 
place to place in sport. He bit hold 
of one of them that held her young one 
in her arms, which made her flight 
more slow. 

Fritz ran with all his might to save 
the old ape from Turk's jaws, and so 
lost his hat, canes, and cups ; but he 
found that she was dead. The young 
ape leapt on his back, and put its paws 
in his curls, and no cries or threats 
could rid him of it. 

I ran up to him with a laugh, for 
I saw the ape was too young to hurt 
him. As it would not stir, all Fritz 
could do was to take the cub home 
as it was ; for since it had lost its dam, 
the young thing would fain look to him 
to screen it from harm. It was but the 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 4 7 

size of a cat, though the old ape was 
as tall as Fritz. 

I did not wish to have one more 
mouth to fill ; but Fritz was loth to part 
with his pet, and said that till we had 
the cow, it should have his share of 
the milk from the nuts. In the mean 
time Turk made a meal of the old ape, 
from which Fritz strove to drive him. 

" Nay," said I, " if you drive the dogs 
off such game as they have the luck to 
find, they might spring on one of the 
young boys some day when they are 
much in want of food. Fritz thought 
we were well off to have two such fine 
dogs, and that the ass too would be 
of great use to us. 

When Turk came up to join us the 
young ape took fright at him, and crept 
up the breast of Fritz's coat. 

He did not care to have him quite 

48 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

so near, and the thought struck him 
that he would tie the cub with a cord 
to Turk's back, and lead the dog. 
Turk did not at all like this at first ; 
but a threat and a coax made him yield 
in the end. 

We went on at a slow pace for some 
time, and I could but think of the state 
of joy in which our young ones would 
be thrown when they saw us come 
home with the ape like two Beast Show 

We had but just got to the banks 
of the stream which ran near our tent, 
when we heard Flox give a loud bark, 
as much as to say, " Here they are !" 
Then Turk gave a bark, to tell them, 
" Here we come!" But at these 
sounds the young ape took fright, and 
leapt from Turk's neck to Fritz's head, 
and come down he would not. 

The Swis^Family Robinson. 49 

Turk was but too glad to break loose, 
that he might run to meet Flox and 
the boys, who were soon at our side, 
and in great glee to see us back once 
more. Each boy had a kiss, and then 
came shouts of praise at the sight of the 
new pet. 

" An ape ! a real live ape ! Oh what 
a love! How did you catch him?" 
burst from the lips of Ned and Jack; 
but Frank, who stood in some fear of 
him, said, " I call him a fright." 

Jack. — "I am sure his looks are twice 
as good as yours. See how he laughs. 
How I should like to see him eat !" 

Ned. — " Now, if we had but some 
of the nuts with milk in them ! Have 
you found some ? " 

' But I fear you have met with some 
risks," said my wife. 

It was in vain to try to tell them all 

50 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

at once what we had done. At length, 
when they let us have some peace, I 
told them where we had been, and that 
we had brought them all sorts of good 
things ; but that I had not seen a trace 
of our friends from the ship. 

" God's will be done !" said my wife. 
"Let us thank Him that He has 
brought you safe back to us. This day 
has been like a whole week to me ! 
But put down your load, and let us 
hear you talk of all that you have seen 
and done. We, too, have found work 
to do, though we have not gone through 
all the toil that you must have had. 
Boys, see if you can ease them of 
their load." 

Jack took my gun, Frank the gourds, 
and my wife the game bags. Fritz 
soon gave out the canes, and put the 
ape on Turk's back, to the great glee of 

The Swiss Family Robinson, 5 1 

the rest of the boys. He gave his gun 
to Ned, who said the gourds were of 
too ^reat a weight for him to take, so 
my dear wife lent a hand, and we went 
on our way to the tent. 

Fritz.- — "It strikes me that if Ned 
knew that the gourds held his dear nuts 
with milk in them, he would not give 
them up so soon." 

Ned. — " Give them to me ; I will 
take them, and the gun too." 

My wife had a good meal for us at 
the fire. She had put some sticks in 
the shape of a fork on the hearth, 
which made a rest for a thin spit, on 
which all sorts of fish were put to roast, 
and a goose too. Frank was set to 
turn the spit, and the pot was on the 
fire, from which came forth the fumes 
of some good soup. 

At the back of the hearth stood one 

E 2 

52 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

of the casks, which held a Dutch cheese 
in a case of lead. All this was sweet 
to our sight and smell, and we felt sure 
would soon be so to our taste ; and for 
the time we lost sight of the fact that 
we were on a lone shore where, till 
now, man's foot had not been set. 

I could not think my boys or my 
wife had lost much time since we left 
them ; but I told them that they must 
not kill our geese quite so fast, as we 
ought to keep them for stock. 

" Have no fear," said my wife, "this 
is not one of our own, it is a wild goose 
which was brought home by Ned ; 
Jack and Frank caught the fish at the 
rocks, while I brought the cask up to 
the tent and broke the lid of it, to 
get to this good cheese." 

Fritz. — " Let's feed our young ape, 
who has lost his dam's milk." 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 53 

Jack. — " I have been to try him, and 
( he will not eat." 

I told the boys that he must be fed 
with the milk from the nuts till he 
could eat. Jack said he should have 
all his share ; but Ned and Frank, on 
their part, had a wish to taste the 

Jack. — " Nay ; but the poor cub 
must live ! " 

" And so must we all," said my wife ; 
" so now come and sup, and we will 
have the nuts by and by." 

We sat down on the ground, and 
the meal was spread. My boys cut 
the nuts in two with our saw, and made 
spoons of the shells. Jack took good 
care that the poor ape should have his 
share ; and the way the boys fed him 
was to put the end of a cloth in the 
milk, and then let the cub suck it. 

54 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

As night had now come on we all 
went to rest. The young ape was laid 
on some moss to keep him warm, with 
Fritz and Jack by his side ; the fowls 
went to roost on the tent, and we were 
all soon in a deep sleep. 

But we had not slept long, when we 
heard a great noise, which the dogs and 
the fowls had set up, and we thought, 
of course, that some foe was near. My 
wife, Fritz, and I, each took a gun 
and went out, when by the light of the 
moon we saw a fierce fight, for our 
brave dogs had round them a score 
of wolves. 

Fritz and I let off our guns, at which 
two fell dead, and the rest fled, but 
Turk and Flox soon put them to death, 
and then, like true dogs, ate them. We 
were glad to find it was no worse a foe, 
and then went back to our beds, and 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 55 

slept till the cock woke us with his loud 
crow, and then my wife and I set our 
thoughts to work to make plans for the 


"Well, my dear," said I, "I see 
some toil lies in our path this day; 
Fritz and I must go on our raft to the 
wreck, for if we are to save the live 
stock, we must go at once ; and there 
are bales and bales of goods on board 
which may be of much use to us. Yet 
I know not what to do first, for we must 
have some place here to stow them in," 

" All may be done," said my wife, 
" in due time ; and though I shall be 
in a sad state of fear till I see you both 

56 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

back, still I yield to the good it will 
be to us all, so let it be done this 

I then went to rouse my boys. Fritz 
was the first to jump up, and he ran 
for a dead wolf, which he found had got 
quite stiff. He put it on its legs at the 
door of the tent, to make the rest of 
the boys start ; but as soon as the dogs 
saw it, they sprang on it, and would 
have torn it to shreds, had not Fritz 
gone to work the right way this time, 
which was to coax them off with food. 
But this loud bark woke the boys, who 
made a rush at the door of the tent 
to see the cause of it all. 

Jack was the first to come out, with 
the ape on his arm ; but as soon as the 
young thing saw the wolf which lay 
dead at the door, he sprang back to his 
bed and hid in the moss, till no part 

The Swiss Family Robinson* 5 7 

of him but the tip of his snout could 
be seen. Jack took the wolf for a dead 
dog ; and Ned, in a tone of some pomp, 
said, " This is a gold fox." 

We then sat down to break our fast, 
when Ned gave a sly look at a cask 
which stood by. 

" Ah," said he, " if we had but some 
lard to spread on this hard bread, how 
good it would be. Could we not get 
at this cask ? " 

He then brought out some lard from 
a crack in the side of it. 

" Your taste for good things, Ned, 
has brought us a great boon. Come, 
my boys, who wants bread and lard ?" 

As our dogs lay at our feet, I saw 
that they had got deep wounds in the 
neck ; so my wife put some of the 
lard on them, which gave the poor 
brutes much ease. Ned thought they 

58 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

ought to have spikes round their necks 
to keep off their foes. 

" I will make them some," said 

While Fritz got out the boat, I set 
up a high post, on the top of which 
I put a piece of sail cloth for a flag, and 
I told my wife and boys that they must 
let it float in the air as long as all went 
on well ; but if they stood in need of 
us they were to let down the flag and 
fire a gun three times, when we should 
come back with all speed. I told my 
wife that we might have to stay on 
board all night. 

"Well," said she, "if I thought you 
would be on the raft, I should rest at 
ease, but not if you slept on the wreck." 

Our guns were all we took, as we 
thought we should find food on board. 
But I must add that Fritz would take 

The Swiss Family Robinson, 59 

the ape, that he might give it some 
milk from the cow, as he thought it did 
not seem " quite up to the mark." So 
we took our leave, and went off in the 

When we had got mid way down the 
bay, a strong stream drove us on for 
three parts of the way ; at last we came 
to the creek of the rock from which 
I had made my first start. Then we 
went on board the ship. 

Fritz's first care was to feed the live 
things, each of which we heard greet 
us in its own way. The young ape was 
put to the goat to suck, and this he 
did with so great a zest that it made 
us hold our sides to laugh at so droll 
a sight. 

Now that we had made our way to 
the wreck, the next thing we had to 
think of was how we should get back. 

60 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

We knew that the wind which blew 
in our teeth as we came, would serve us 
now if we had a sail ; so a mast and sail 
were of course the first things for us to 
look out for. We found a strong pole 
for a mast, and to fix the sail to a yard 
did not take us long. We then put 
a plank on the top of the fourth tub on 
our raft, and so made a deck. Fritz 
ran up a red flag to the top of the mast 
as a sign to those whom we had left on 
shore, to let them know that we should 
not go back that night. 

The next day we found all sorts of 
things that we could turn to some use 
on shore, such as shot, tools, and cloth ; 
and we took care this time to bear in 
mind spoons, knives, forks, plates, pots, 
pans, and a jack to roast with. 

We found a chest full of good things 
to eat, such as the new kind of soup, 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 61 

hams, some bags of maize, wheat, seeds, 
and herbs. We took all the tools we 
could find room for, some guns, swords, 
and a large roll of cloth. Our tubs 
were full to the brim, and we left but 
just room to stand. We now sent up 
our flag to say that all was right, and 
went to rest for the night. 


At break of day I went on deck to 
look through a good glass which I had 
found in the ship, and I could see my 
wife with her face my way, as well as 
the flag, which flew in the breeze. So 
as I knew that all went well with her, 
I sat down to eat a full meal. 

As to the live stock, it was plain that 

62 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

if we made a raft for them, the beasts 
would not rest on it ; the great fat sow 
might swim to land, but as to the rest we 
did not see our way with them. At last 
Fritz thought of a plan by which they 
might reach the shore, but which it 
took us two hours to put in force, and 
this was the way of it : the cow and the 
ass had a cask on each side of them, 
well bound with strips of sail cloth, and 
we put a block of wood on the head 
of each to hold him by. We sent the 
ass off by a hard push, and he swam 
well when he had once made a plunge 
or two. The cow, sheep, and goats, 
all took to the sea as if they did not 
mind it, but the sow broke loose from 
us, and was the first to reach the land. 

We then got in our boat, bound all 
the blocks of wood (which held the beasts) 
to its stern, and drew with us our train. 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 63 

We thought much of our sail, for with 
such a load as we had, we could not 
have got on with our oars. 

Once more I took up the glass to 
look for my wife and boys, when a 
loud cry from Fritz rang in my ears : 

" We are lost ! We are lost ! See 
that huge fish ! " 

But the bold boy took hold of his 
gun, and sent two balls at its head, and 
as it swam it left a track of blood. 

We were now not far from the shore, 
so we let down the sail and took our 
oars, and when the beasts felt the 
ground we cut off the wood and each 
went on shore just in the way he 
thought most fit. 

So we came to land. But where 
were all those whom we had left ? We 
could see no trace of them ! 

But we had not long to wait ; for 

64 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

they soon came up to greet us ; and 
when our first burst of joy had gone off, 
we sat down to tell our tale from first 
to last. My wife's joy was great to see 
the ass, cow, sheep, sow, and goats, and 
more than all, to hear how well Fritz's 
plan to get them to land had been 
brought to bear. 

We then set to work to bring on 
shore all our stores. I saw that Jack 
wore a belt of skin, in which were put 
firearms. Said I, " Where could you 
have found such a thing ? " 

u I made it," said he, " and this is 
not all ; look at the dogs ! " 

The dogs had each a thong round 
his neck, thick with spikes. 

"It was I that thought of it," said 
Jack, "but I had help when I came to 
sew the nails on." 

I told him I should like to know 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 65 

where .he got the thong, the nails, and 
the thread from ? 

Jack then said, " The thong was 
made out of the skin of Fritz's wolf, 
and the rest came from the large 

ba S-" 

" There is still more in it ; do but 

say what you want ! " quoth my wife. 

I sent Fritz to bring the ham from 
the raft, and, to the joy of all, it was 
set out on the top of the lard cask. My 
wife brought out twelve dove's eggs, 
which were like white balls ; and while 
she spread our meal, Fritz and I took 
our load out of the boat, and made use 
of the ass to help us. 

We sat down to cheese, ham, and 
eggs, with the ass, cow, sheep, goats, 
dogs, sow, and fowls all round us. The 
geese and ducks kept to the marsh, 
where they ate the small crabs. I sent 

66 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

Fritz for some wine from the stores ; 
and then my wife gave us a sketch of 
all that she and the two young ones had 
done while we were on the wreck. 


" As to the way in which I spent the 
first day," said she, " I will spare your 
kind heart, for I w T as in such great fear 
that I kept my eye the whole time on 
the flags and signs from the ship, which 
with the aid of the glass I could see 
well. But to day, as I was sure that 
all went well with you, I set out with 
the two dear boys in search of some 
spot to pitch our tent in, that had more 
to boast of than this poor bare place. 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 67 

We went forth with game bags, and 
knives at our sides ; the boys took our 
food, and I shut up the tent door with 
the hooks. Turk and Flox went with 
us as our guides ; but when we got to 
the stream we were in a great strait, for 
we knew not how to cross it. So we 
kept for some time to the left bank, 
when by hook or by crook the boys got 
me through it. 

"We had now come to what we 
thought was a wood, which was in good 
truth but a group of twelve trees, all 
of a great height, and which would seem 
as if the air was their home more than 
the earth ; and the trunks sprang from 
roots, each of which made an arch to 
hold up the boughs. Jack put a piece 
of twine round the trunk of one of these, 
to see what size it was, and found it to 
be two score feet round the stem ; and 

F 2 

68 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

as far as we could judge, it was three 
score feet high. A short smooth turf 
grew at the foot, and near it ran a clear 
brook with a bank of bright green moss 
on each side of it. On the whole, it 
was as sweet a spot as the eye could 
rest on. Here we sat down to eat our 
meal. The two dogs, which soon came 
to join us, did not seem to crave for food, 
as I thought they would, but lay down 
to sleep at our feet. 

"As for me, so safe and so full of 
peace did this sweet spot seem, that 
I could but think that if we were to 
build a home on the top of these high 
trees, I could find it in my heart to 
spend the rest of my life here. 

" When we set out to go home we 
took the road by the sea shore, in hopes 
that the waves would have cast up things 
from the wreck which might be of use 

The Swiss Family Robinson, 69 

to us. We found chests and casks 
which we had not the strength to move 
far, though we took them out of the 
reach of the tide. In the mean time 
the dogs caught small crabs which they 
ate as fast as they could catch them. I 
was glad to see this, as I knew the poor 
things could not get their own food. 

" As we sat down a while to rest from 
this hard work, I saw Flox scratch a 
hole in the sand and eat some small 
things out of it with a great zest. Ned 
stood to watch him, and then said : 

' ' They are eggs ! round white eggs ! 
and such good ones ! ' 

" We took twelve of them, and left 
Flox the rest for her pains. 

' While we put our spoil in the game 
bags, we saw in front of us a sail. Ned 
was quite sure it was our raft, but 
Frank was much in dread lest it should 

jo The Swiss Family Robinson. 

be a boat full of wild men who would 
eat us up. Yet we soon drove off these 
fears, and leapt from stone to stone, till 
we got to the place where you were to 

" Then," said I, " I make out from 
what you tell me, that you have found 
a high tree where you would have us 
perch like fowls. But how are we to 
get up ? " 

" Oh," said my wife, " can you not 
call to mind the large lime tree near our 
town in which a ball room had been 
made ? We went up to that by stairs ; 
so why could you not make stairs in 
those huge stems ? There we should 
live in peace, and have no fear of wolves 
or foes that prowl by night." 

I said I would think of what could 
be done. 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 71 



The next day we set our wits to 
work to make a plan. In the end we 
thought that we would build a home on 
the spot my wife spoke of in terms of 
such high praise. 

" But the store house for our goods," 
said I, " must be in the rock, as well 
as a place to fly to in time of need, 
which shall be known to none but 

I told my wife that the first thing to 
be done was to build a bridge, that we 
might bring all our goods to the house 
and stores. 

" A bridge ! " said my wife. " Why 
can't we make use of a ford as we have 
done ? The cow and the ass could 
take our stores." 

72 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

I told her that a bridge we must 
have, and that the boys and I would 
make it, while I set her to work to 
stitch up some strong bags to put shot 

As our minds were now made up 
for this change of home, I woke up the 
boys and told them of our plans. We 
all gave a loud laugh when we saw the 
young ape suck the goat, who took to 
it as if she had been its dam. And as 
to my wife to see her milk the cow, one 
might vow that she had been born a 
milk maid. She gave us some of the 
warm milk, and put the rest in flasks 
for us to take in the boat, and I then 
had to go in search of planks of wood 
to build the bridge with. 

I took both Fritz and Ned with me 
this time, as I saw we should have a 
good load to bring on shore. 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 73 

When we came up to a small isle at 
the mouth of the bay, we saw there a 
vast flock of gulls and sea birds of that 
kind, which, with their harsh cry, fed 
on a huge fish. This fish was the shark 
which Fritz had shot through the head, 
and he found on it the marks of his 
two balls. 

Ned struck some of the birds right 
and left, and put the rest to flight. We 
cut off the skin of the shark, which I 
thought might be of use, and put it in 
the boat. 

We found loads of planks there, 
which had been thrown up by the high 
tide, and as these were all that I could 
wish for to build our bridge with, I did 
not go to the wreck. We chose out 
those which we thought would best suit 
us, and by the aid of the jack screw 
and some strong poles we bound them 

74 Tke Swiss Family Robinson, 

to the stern of the boat, and then put 
off. As we went on, Fritz set to work to 
dry the shark's skin to make files with, 
and Ned in the mean while must needs 
muse on the fact that the shark's mouth 
is so made that to seize his prey he 
must turn on his back, and this gives 
his prey a chance to save their lives ; 
else, with such a maw, he would lay 
waste the sea. At last we came to 
land, and a loud call soon brought the 
boys to our side. 

They had been hard at work at the 
banks of the stream. Frank had 
round his neck a net full of fine craw 
fish, and Jack had the same. " Frank 
was the first to find these fish," said 
Jack, " when he and I went in search 
of the best place to build the bridge." 

" Thank you," said I ; " then may be 
you will plan the works." 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 75 

" Yes, yes," said Jack, " but just 
hark at what we saw. When we got 
to the stream, Frank gave a loud call 
to me, and when I came up to him I 
saw Fritz's wolf with a coat of crabs 
on him ! I ran to fetch a net that we 
found on the shore, and we caught all 
these as soon as we had cast it, and 
could have got more if you had not 
just then come up." 

I told Jack to keep as much as we 
should want to eat, and put the rest 
back in the stream, and I was glad to 
find that we had such good food in our 
reach. We now brought our planks 
on shore. I thought well of Frank's 
site for the bridge ; but it was a long 
way from our store of planks. To get 
these to the left side of the stream, we 
bound a rope to the horns of the cow 
(as its chief strength lies in the head), 

76 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

and one end we made fast to the 
planks ; and by the aid of the ass we 
took all the wood we had need of to 
the spot which the dear boys chose for 
the site of our bridge. 

To find out the breadth of the 
stream Ned hit off a good plan, which 
was to tie a stone to a ball of twine and 
fling it to the left bank, and then draw 
it back, and in this way we could judge 
of the width of the stream by the length 
of the string. So we brought from the 
coast those planks which were of the 
right size. We found the stream was 
one score feet wide ; but to give 
strength I made the planks rest three 
feet on each bank. 

But now we were in a great strait ; 
for we knew not how we were to hoist 
the planks on the left bank of the 
stream, when the cow and the ass had 

The Swiss Family Robinson. jy 

brought them there. I said this 
must be thought of while we ate our 
meal. " Craw fish and Rice Milk" 
was the bill of fare. But we were first 
shown the two bags for the ass, which 
my wife had made of the wolf's hide 
with twine and a nail to pierce the holes 
with. As we ate our meal, to talk of 
our bridge was the one thing to do, and 
we gave it the name of the Swiss 

We then went to work, and sent the 
ass and cow, with Ned and Jack on 
their backs, to swim to the left bank 
with the long planks, and so the thing 
was done. I laid down boards on the 
top of these strong planks cross ways ; 
but I would not fix them, as I thought 
that if we should meet with a foe we 
might want to take down the bridge. 
When it was made, my wife and I went 

78 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

up and down it with as much glee as 
the boys. Worn out with the toil of 
the day, we then made our way home 
and went to rest. 


The next day, with all my dear ones 
round me, I went to pray ; and we then 
took leave of our first home on the isle, 
for we had now to set out for our new 
house in the trees. I bade my boys 
keep near me in a group, and on we 

We brought out the ass, the cow, 
the sheep, and the goats. The bags 
were put on the backs of the first two 
of these, and were full of things of 

The Swiss Family Robinson, 79 

weight, such as pots, pans, cheese, 
bread, and flour. 

All was in trim for the march, when 
my wife came in haste to beg of me to 
make room for her large bag which 
held so much ; nor would she leave the 
fowls, lest they should fall a prey to the 
wolves ; but her chief thought was to 
have a seat found for Frank, as he 
could not walk so far. I could but 
smile at her wants, when room was so 
scarce ; but I gave in, and made a good 
place for Frank on the back of the ass, 
where he sat with a pack on each side* 
of him. 

The boys came back, and said they 
could not catch the fowls ; but my wife 
said she would soon bring them. 
'Well, if you do," quoth our pert 
Jack, " I will let you roast me in the 
place of the first chick you take." 

80 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

" Then my poor Jack," said she, * you 
will soon be on the spit ! Look here !" 
As she said this she threw down some 
grain for them near the tent, and then 
some more in the tent, which the fowls 
came to eat ; she then went in, shut the 
door, and caught them all. To tie the 
wings of each to its feet was soon done, 
and they were put in nets, which were 
slung on the cow and ass. 

All that we could not take with us 
we shut up in the tent, the door of 
which we made fast, and put chests 
and casks in front of it, and took our 
way to our new home. 

My wife and Fritz went first, then 
came the cow and ass with their loads, 
and Jack drove the goats. The young 
ape sat on the back of his nurse, where 
his grins and tricks did not fail to cheer 
our hearts on the way, and he was quite 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 81 

a pet with us all. Next came Ned 
with the sheep ; then I, like the Jews of 
old, with my flocks and herds in front 
of me, came last The two dogs ran 
first to the front, then to the rear, as if 
they thought we were all in their 


Our march was slow. We had ere 
long to cross the new bridge, and here 
we had one more than we had set out 
with ; for the sow — which was so wild 
when it was her turn to be caught that 
we had to leave her — now came to join 
us, with grunts which would seem to 
say, " This change is not at all to my 


82 The Swiss Family Robinson, 

As soon as we had got to the left 
side of the stream the beasts set off to 
feed on the rich grass, and but for our 
dogs, we should not have known how 
to catch them ; so I told our " guard " 
we would take the road near the coast, 
where there was no grass to tempt 
them. We had not left the long grass 
half an hour, when our dogs made a 
rush back to it with loud barks and 
howls, as if they were in fight with 
some foe. 

Fritz and Jack ran off to the spot 
with their guns in their hands, when 
Jack, who leapt in the high grass up 
to the dogs, said, with a clap of the 
hands : 

" Be quick : here's a great beast like 
a Hedge Hog, with quills as long as 
my arm ! " 

When I got up to it, it made a fierce 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 83 

noise, and was so bold as to set up its 
quills at us, as it had done at the dogs, 
who gave sad howls at the pain they 
were put to. At last, to put an end 
to the fight, Jack sent a shot in the 
head of the poor beast, at which it 
fell dead. 

" Jack is proud of his feat," said 
Fritz, " but he is too young to make 
use of a gun, for he might have shot 
one of the dogs, and what would be 
still worse, one of us." 

But I said that all did well to act for 
the good of the rest. 

My wife was then sent for, to see 
this strange beast. Her first thought 
was to dress the wounds of the poor 
dogs made by the quills. As Jack had 
a great wish to take so strange a beast 
with us, I put it in some soft grass, so 
that the quills might not break. 

G 2 

84 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

At last we got to the end of the 
march, and I must say I was much 
struck with the trees ; for they were 
of a bulk which I could not have 
thought of. And we gave all thanks 
to my dear wife who had sought out so 
nice a home for us. 

We took the load from the backs of 
the cow and ass, and bound fast their 
fore legs, that they might not stray ; but 
the sow we let go in the way of her 
own will, and the fowls and doves were 
let loose. We then all sat down on 
the grass to think of the best site for our 
new home. 

It was my wish to mount the tree 
that night. All at once we heard the 
sound of a gun ; but Fritz's voice set 
us at our ease. He had crept out and 
shot a fine Pole Cat, which he held up 
to our view with great pride. 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 85 

" Well done ! " said I ; " you ought to 
have the thanks of the fowls and doves, 
for the cat would soon have made a 
prey of them." 

" Pray shoot all the rest, Fritz, else 
we shall not have a chick left for the 
spit," said Ned. 

I told Fritz to skin it at once, and 
throw the flesh to the dogs. I left my 
wife to cook our meal, while I made 
the quills fit for her to sew with. To 
do this I held a large nail in the fire 
till it was red hot, and then sent it 
through the head of the quill to make 
the eye. 

All the time my thoughts were full 
of my house in the air. 

As we knew of no way to climb to the 
top of the trees, I hung the beds (which 
I had brought from the ship) from the 
roots, for as I have said, they grew in 

86 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

the shape of an arch some way from 
the ground, while on the top of the 
roots we spread the sails to keep the 
dew off. 


When my wife sat down to sew, I 
went with my sons to the shore in search 
of wood to build our house with ; and 
we saw a vast deal that had been thrown 
up by the high tide, but none fit for our 

As I knew that a house could not 
be built in a tree if there were no steps 
to go up it, I did not at first see that 
my way was clear. 

But by and by the thought struck me 
that we might make steps with two ropes 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 87 

for the sides, and bits of cane to mount 
up by, which we did with great ease, 
though we had to nail all the canes to 
the ropes to make them safe. We 
then drew them up by means of a cord, 
which I shot up in the tree from a bow 
with a weight at the end of it, so that 
it might fall back to the ground. 

All the boys were mad to climb up 
it, but I chose Frank to go first, as he 
was the least weight: so up he went while 
we held the ropes firm. Then went 
Fritz with the nails and tools, so that 
the two boys sat on their perch in the 
sky, and made loud cries to us poor folk 
down on the dull earth. 

Then I took boards up to make the 
floor of the house with, and came down 
by the light of the moon. But I was 
in great fear when I found that Fritz 
and Jack had not been seen, and still 

88 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

more so when I heard their clear tones 
ring forth in song from the tip top of 
the tree, where it was by no means safe 
to go. When there, they were so 
struck with the grand view which lay 
spread at the foot, that they burst out 
with a hymn of praise. 

I could not find it in my heart to 
scold my dear boys when they came 
down, but told them to tie up the ass 
and the cow for the night, and get 
wood for our fires, which we should 
stand in need of to keep off wild beasts. 
The doves had flown to the top of the 
tree to perch there for the night, and 
we found the fowls at roost on the 

Now that the toils of the day had 
come to an end, we sat down to our meal. 
Then I lit up my watch fires, and we 
all went to rest, and slept — all save one, 

The Swiss Family Robi7ison. 89 

that is, — and that one was I ; for care 
kept sleep from my eyes till near the 
dawn of day, as I did not think we were 
safe, but when I had had a short sleep 
I rose, and we were all once more at 


My wife had the cow and the goats 
to milk, and when she had done that 
she went in search of wood for our use, 
while Fritz and I went up the steps 
with axe and saw to get rid of each 
branch, bough, and twig, that came in 
our way. We had put the last stroke 
to the floor, and next had to hoist up 
the sail for a roof. 

The huge trunk of the tree made 

90 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

a back to our room, and the front let in 
a fresh breeze from the sea, of which 
we had a fine view. With the rest of 
the wood we made a bench and a few 

While we took our meal the young 
ape leapt first to this boy, then to that, 
for food, and ate what scraps they gave 
him just as we did, and with such fun 
in his looks that he kept us on the broad 
laugh the whole time. 

Our great sow now came back to us 
with grunts of joy. We had not seen 
her for two days, and my wife gave her 
all the milk she could spare to show that 
we were glad to see her. The boys 
then set a light to the fires, the dogs 
were bound to the roots of the trees, 
and we went up our steps for the night. 
My three big boys soon ran up them ; 
my wife, who trod with more care, went 

The Swiss Familv Robinson. 9 1 

next, and got to the top with ease. I took 
Frank on my back, and then drew in 
the steps ; and now we felt safe, like the 
knights of old when their draw bridge 
was up. 


We did not wake till the sun 
shone on us, and as it was the Lord's 
Day, of course we did no work, but we 
sang hymns, which we knew by heart, 
and we could pray, though we had no 

The next day all the lads shot with 
bows, and I made a small one for 
Frank. So he set off with his bow in his 
hand, of which he was as proud as a 

92 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

It was my whim to give names to all 
those parts of the isle which were well 
known to us. The bay where we first 
came to land, Ned said we ought to 
call the Bay of Tears when we thought 
of all those that poor Jack had shed 

" Nay," said my wife, "as it is the 
place where we first set foot on dry 
ground, I think we should give it the 
name of the Bay of Joy. Our first 
home had the name of Tent House; 
the small isle where the fish was found, 
Shark Isle ; and the swamp where the 
canes were cut, Bow Marsh. 

My wife and boys had a glass of sweet 
wine to drink the health of the chicks 
and all who were at Kite's Nest — for this 
was the name I gave to our new home. 
When the heat of the day had gone off, 
we set out to Tent House to get more 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 93 

food, and to bring the geese and ducks. 
This time we did not go by the banks 
of the stream, but kept in the shade 
of the chain of rocks till we got to the 
Swiss Bridge. Ned wore a belt of 
skin from the hide of the wolf. 

Each of us had a gun and game bag 
save Frank, who, with his fair face, his 
gold hair, his bow and darts, was a 
sweet sight to look at. Then came 
Turk and Flox, but someway off, for they 
were in fear of Frank's darts. Knips 
— the ape — took his seat on the back 
of Flox, who could not shake him 

New and bright scenes now burst on 
our view on all sides. The fig tree 
grew here, the fruit of which was of 
great size and good to the taste. Jack 
was soon on the top of the sand rocks 
to pick some ; but it had not struck him 

94 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

that the figs had small thorns as fine as 
a pins point, which, of course, stung his 
hands and hurt him. He came back 
with sad cries, and we could see him 
dance with the pain. I took out the 
thorns, and put him in the right way to 
treat the fruit, which was to run a piece 
of stick through the fig, and then pare 
it; and soon all the boys sat down to 
eat them, and gave the best sign that 
they thought them good. 

While I put the stores on the ass and 
cow, my wife and Frank had to cook 
all the good things. Ned and Jack 
went to try to catch the geese and ducks, 
which had grown so wild, that but for 
a bright thought of Ned's, they could 
not have done so. His plan was to 
fix a piece of cheese to a thread for a 
bait, which was made to float on the 
stream : the ducks soon took the cheese 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 95 

down their throats, and were drawn out 
by the thread. He then cut off the 
thread close to the beak, and left the 
rest of it in their craw, and threw them 
neck and heels in the game bag. 


I had seen on the shore some wood 
which I thought would serve to build a 
sledge with, on which we could take 
our casks and stores from Tent House 
to Kite's Nest. The next day at dawn 
I woke up Ned, and left the rest to 
sleep. We went down to the shore, 
and set to work at the wood, and cut 
it the right length with the saw ; we 
then bound it to the ass, who drew it 
with a good heart. We threw on it a 

9 6 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

small chest that we found sunk half way 
in the sand, and Ned led the ass. 

The chest was full of the clothes of 
the crew, which were wet with the sea ; 
but my wife thought much of them, for 
she said that our own would soon be 
worn out. Fritz and Jack had shot 
some birds, but I said, "It will save 
our shot if you set snares to catch 
them." And I taught them how to do 
so with threads which we drew from 
the leaves of plants that we had found. 

Then my two boys and I made the 
sledge, but while we were at work on it 
we heard a great noise from the fowls. 
Ned went out to look round him, and 
saw the young ape seize and hide the 
eggs from the nests, of which he had 
made a store at the foot of our tree. 
When my wife heard of it, Knips had 
a box on the ear, and from that time he 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 97 

was shut up till all the eggs had been 
brought in. When Jack went up the 
trees to set the snares he found that the 
doves built there. I told him to keep 
a sharp look out that our own birds were 
not caught in them, and by no means to 
fire his gun in the tree. 


At the end of the day I had made 
my sledge in this way : in the first 
place, there were two long planks of 
wood with a curve in them, and on 
these were three short ones put cross 
ways. The fore and hind parts were 
in the form of horns, so that the load 
might not fall out. 

Two ropes were bound on to the 


98 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

front, and my sledge was made. My 
wife was loud in her praise of it, and 
Ned and I set off with it to Tent 
House for some more casks, as our food 
had got low ; and I left the rest in the 
care of Fritz. We bound the cow and 
ass to the sledge, made a whip out of 
a cane and a piece of twine, and took 
our way by the shore, as that was the 
best road for the sledge ; and by the 
help of Swiss Bridge we were soon at 
Tent House. Here we took out the 
ass and cow and let them graze, and 
soon set to work to load the sledge once 
more with all that we could find that 
was good to eat. 

So hard at work were we at this, that 
we did not give the beasts a thought, 
but they took it in their heads to cross 
the bridge, and roam out of sight. I 
told Ned to look to them, and in the 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 99 

mean time I cut a load of the rush 
which grew in that part. When Ned 
came back I found he had made good 
use of his wits, for he took care to lift 
off the first planks of the bridge, so that 
there was now no fear that the beasts 
would stray. 

We took a bathe, and then Fritz 
went to fish. He had not been gone 
long when I heard him cry out : 

" Oh, pray come and help me ; here 
is such a huge fish ! I can't hold it, it 
will break my line ! " 

I ran up to lend my aid, and found 
that poor Fritz lay with his face on the 
ground, and gave tugs at his line, to 
which hung so large a fish that it all but 
broke it. 

I drew it to a pool, and we thought 
our good cook would be much struck 
with such a prize ; so I put some salt 

H 2 

ioo The Swiss Family Robinson. 

to it, and brought it home on the 


When I got home I found that the 
boys were clad in the clothes which we 
found in the small chest, and this new 
style of dress brought screams of mirth 
from all, as the clothes did not suit 
their shape or their age ; but my wife 
thought that to wear these was not so 
bad as to go with none at all. The 
next day when I rose, I broke the news 
to her that I must go once more to the 
wreck, and bade Fritz get out all that 
we should want. 

My wife was as sad this time as the 
last, and to add to her grief, Ned and 

The Swiss Family Robinson. ioi 

Jack were no where to be found. 
But we set out for Tent House, and 
on our way we heard cries so loud 
as to fill the air. We gave a start, 
and all at once Ned and Jack leapt 
from some trees, mad with glee to find 
that their plan to join us should (as they 
thought) turn out so well. Their fun 
was to make us think that a tribe of 
wild men stood round us to close us in ; 
but I sent them both back, and told 
them that it was wrong to come out 
when they had not had leave to do so. 
At this they felt much shame, and hung 
down their heads ; but to cheer them 
up, I bade Fritz give Ned his watch 
that he might know how the time went 
while we were gone. And as I had 
seen a case full of them in the ship, 
I knew it would be no loss to us. We 
got out our boat, and by the aid of the 

102 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

stream which ran through the bay we 
soon came up to the ship. 

The first work to turn our hands to 
was to make a new raft. We found at 
least ten tubs, which we threw in the 
sea, and laid some long planks on them, 
and these we bound to them with ropes. 
This took up the whole of the first day, 
and we had but time to eat some cold 
meat which we had brought with us, 
and then we went to rest for the 


The next day we put the goods on 
the raft, and took all that we could lay 
our hands on. There were rich gems 
of great cost, gold, and some small 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 103 

cash ; these we had at first a wish to 
take, but soon gave them up for things 
that would be of more use to us, such 
as a case of plants and trees which were 
kept in damp moss. I saw with joy 
two or three plum trees, some young 
shoots of the vine, and a peach tree. 
How I did long to plant them ! 

There were pigs of lead, cart wheels, 
tongs, coils of wire, sacks of maize, peas, 
oats, and a small hand mill. We knew 
not what to take, and what to leave, but 
we brought as much as it was safe for 
the raft to hold, and then we made for 
the shore. 

Though the wind was fair, yet we 
got on at a slow rate, for the mass we 
had to tug kept us back. When we 
came on shore Fritz gave a shout. All 
ran to greet us, and great was their joy 
to see such a load of goods. I sent the 

104 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

boys for the sledge to take some of our 
freight on shore at once, as the ebb 
tide left our boat dry on the sand. 

By the aid of the jack screw we 
brought two large rolls of lead from the 
raft ; and these were a great boon to us, 
as we stood in need of them to make 
shot with. We took on shore the chest 
of tools, and wheels for our sledge, and 
then we sat down in the shade to rest 
and eat our meal. 

" And now," said my wife, " since 
you have had such a hard day's work, 
I think I can give you some wine to 
cheer you up." 

She then brought out some choice 
wine from a small cask that had been 
cast on shore by the waves, and which 
she and the boys had brought to Kite's 

My wife went up the steps to stow 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 105 

the goods, which took all our strength 
to hoist up to her. This done, we lay 
down on our beds, and I need not add 
that our sleep that night was sound and 


Day by day we went to the wreck, 
for a whole week, for we had found a 
great prize there in the shape of a boat. 

" To work ! To work ! " said I to 
the three boys. 

Each piece of it had a chalk mark 
to show where it was to join to the next. 
I saw it would take some days to make, 
and I could get no sleep that night for 
the thought of it. 

To clear a space on deck for it took 

106 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

us an hour or two, and we came on 
shore each night when our work was 
done, but not to the Kite's Nest ; for my 
dear wife had left it and come to Tent 
House, as she thought it would suit us 
best to be there while we had this long 
job in hand. At last our boat was set 
up. It was light, and had the look of 
a craft that would sail well. At the 
head was a short deck, and the masts 
and sails were stout. To caulk all the 
seams with tow and tar was the last 
thing we did, but just for the look of it 
we put two small guns in, which we 
bound to its side by chains. And now 
the boat stood on the stocks, but how 
could we get it to float ? The ship's 
side was so strong that to force a way 
for it was not to be thought of; all at 
once a bold plan struck me, but in 
which there was some risk that all might 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 107 

be lost as well as won. In a word, that 
part of the ship which stood in the way 
of the launch, I blew up. But I did 
not make my scheme known lest it 
should not turn out as I could wish. 
So I laid down a long match and then 
came on shore. 

When it blew up, " What's that ? " 
said all my boys at once, with a start. 
"It must be some foe," said Jack. 
Fritz thought it might be a ship out 
at sea in want of help ; but Ned said, 
" Let's get out the glass and see." 

My wife's fears were that we had left 
a light on board, and that this had 
blown up the wreck. 

" Be that as it may," said I, "we will 
go and find out the cause of it, for 
it is from the wreck that the sound 
came. Who will go with me ? My 
three sons at once leapt in the boat, 

108 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

and off we went, and as we had each 
an oar, we were soon on board the ship, 
which lay just where we had left it ; 
part of the side was gone, and in its 
place stood our boat safe and sound. 

"All hail! All hail!" I sang out. 
" The boat is our own, for now we can 
launch her !" 

" Ah, I see," said Fritz, " you have 
blown up the ship. But how could you 
do it so as to save the boat ? " 

" You will see by and by," said I. 

To launch, load, and fit out our boat 
took us two days. 

At last we put up our masts and sails, 
and when we got to the Bay, I gave 
my boys leave to fire one of the guns : 
so Ned and Jack put the match to 
it, and bang ! it went. My wife and 
Frank ran out in great fear, but our 
shouts of joy soon told the glad tale, 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 109 

and a plank was put that my wife might 
get in the boat ; and she could but praise 
our skill, "for," said she, "the boat 
rides on the waves like a queen in full 

We soon came on shore, and when 
we had got as far as the Swiss Bridge 
my wife held out her hand to point 
with some pride to a plot of ground 
which she and Frank had laid out in 
beds and walks. 

" See ! this is our work ! " said she. 
" Here are peas, and beans, as well as 
pines, and maize/' 


We then got to Kite's Nest, to the 
great joy of my wife, who had a dread 

no The Swiss Family Robinson. 

of the heat of Tent House. The next 
day I found that the doves had built in 
our tree, and that the nests had eggs in 
them. We brought out the fruit trees 
which we had found on board the ship, 
and we laid out a piece of ground to 
plant them in. As we had no meat to 
eat we went out with our guns in search 
of game. My wife went with us this 
time, as she had a wish to see the world. 
The three boys and I set off with our 
guns, next came my wife, and Frank — 
who led the ass, — then Knips on the 
back of the mild Flox. 

We soon came to the wood, where 
Fritz and I had the fight with the 
apes. Ned gave a look at the nuts, 
but there were no apes there this time 
to throw them down. 

" Do they not fall from the trees 
when they are ripe?" said Ned; when 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 1 1 1 

down fell a nut at his feet, then one or 
two more. " My words act like a 
charm ! " said he ; " I have but to speak, 
you see, and they fall at my feet." 

" Here comes the rogue that sent 
them," said I, when I saw a huge land 
crab come down from the tree. 

Jack struck a blow at him, but did 
not hit him. The beast spread out his 
claws and made up to him, when poor 
Jack fled in great fear. But a loud 
laugh from the rest gave him pluck, 
and he threw off his coat and put the 
beast to death. 

All got round it to see what it was 
like, and I told them that when the nuts 
do not break by the fall, the crab puts 
its claw in the small holes which are 
at the top of the shell to take out the 
nut, which it eats. We then went to 
the Gourd Wood, where my wife and 

112 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

boys were much struck with the growth of 
the large gourds which they found there. 
When we sat down to our meal, Fritz 
made a large spoon out of one of them 
to skim the milk with, as well as bowls 
and flasks ; while Ned — who had no 
taste for work of that sort — went for a 
stroll in the thick wood. 

All at once we saw him run to us in 
great fear, and cry out, " A wild boar ! 
A great wild boar ! " 

Fritz and I took up our guns and 
ran to the spot, but the dogs went 
first. We soon heard barks and loud 
grunts, by which we knew that a fight 
went on, and off we set in the hope of 
a good prize. 

What did we see, — a wild boar ? 
No, but our own great sow, which Turk 
and Flox held by the ears ! She had 
grown so wild that she had left us to 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 1 1 3 

live in the woods ; and of course I 
made the dogs give up their prize. 


The next day I thought I would 
roam far and near till I made sure 
that we were in good truth on an isle ; 
and I took with me Fritz, Turk, and 
the ass. As we went through a wood 
of oaks we met with the sow once more, 
but this time she did not run from us. 

Fritz shot some birds of the jay 
tribe, and he had not had time to load 
his gun when we heard a strange noise 
like a drum, but not so loud, and at the 
same time a sharp, harsh cry. We both 
made a rush with our guns to a copse, 

ii4 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

and there we found a green bird, which 
spread his wings and gave a strut up 
and down the branch of a tree, where 
he made his shrill note, and the sound 
of the drum came from his wing, which 
he struck on the stem of it. I knew 
this to be the green grouse, and as all 
at home were much in want of food, 
Fritz shot the bird. 

In this tour we met with no sort of 
fright, and no one thing to boast of. 
We then came home to turn our hands 
to a cart ; for we found we could not'go 
far from home for the want of one. 
We made a rough sort of thing with 
the wheels which we had brought from 
the wreck, and found it of great use to 

In the mean time my wife and three 
sons had set to work to plant the vines, 
and the quince, plum, and pear trees 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 1 1 5 

near our new home. The rest I put in 
the ground round Tent House, which 
was our strong fort now, and held our 
arms and stores. It was shut in by a 
high hedge of thick trees, so that no 
man or beast could get to it. There 
was but one way in, and that was near 
Swiss Bridge, the first planks of which 
we took up when we left it. All this 
took us three months to do. 

Our clothes were now in a bad state, 
and we could see no way to get new 
ones, save by a sail to the wreck in our 
new boat : so off we went, and we found 
it in much the same state as we had 
left it. 

We brought some of our own clothes, 

bales of cloth, some tar, doors, locks, 

bolts, and all the guns that we had 

strength to move ; in fact, we might be 

said to sack the ship, and when we had 

1 2 

n6 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

done this, I made up my mind to blow 
it up. So we put a long match which 
I knew would take some hours to burn, 
and went at once to the Bay to watch 
the wreck. My wife spread our meal 
on a point of land where we could see 
the ship, and just as the sun went down, 
off it went with a crash, and a pile of 
flame burst up to the sky. 

When we heard this we could not 
but shed tears, as we lost the sole bond 
which bound us to the land from which 
the ship had brought us ; and we went 
back with sad hearts to Tent House. 


The next day we made a search for 
wood, and found loads of it strewn on 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 117 

the shore from the ship. My wife who 
came to help us, saw on a small lake 
one of our geese and two ducks, each 
with a brood in her wake. She had a 
wish to get some eggs of the wild fowl 
to put in the hens nests. So we made 
a tour in search of some, took our food 
with us, and a large sail to make a tent 
with. The day was all that we could 
wish, not too warm nor too cold, and in 
high glee we sang as we went. 

We came to a large plain where the 
canes grew, at the back of which were 
palm woods, and then the sea. We 
were so much struck with the place that 
we thought we should do well to move 
from Kite's Nest to this sweet spot ; 
but we soon gave up the thought. 
' For," said I, "where shall we find a 
home so safe and snug as our dear nest 
up in the tree ?" 

1 1 8 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

So our tent here was to be kept as 
a place to rest and eat our meals in 
when we made a tour. We let the ass 
and cow graze on the rich grass round 
us, and spent the night here. The 
next day we set to work to tie up the 
large canes, and put them in the cart 
to take home, for we had need of them 
as props for our new fruit trees. 

This hard work made my boys long 
for some milk from the nuts, and they 
did all they could to climb the smooth 
bare trunk of the tree, but in vain ; 
at last I gave them some of the rough 
skin of the shark to brace on their legs, 
which I had brought for that use. 
Then I taught them to climb by the 
aid of a rope, which was flung round 
the tree with a noose, when they soon 
got to the top, and an axe which was 
hung to their belt, did the rest of the 

The Swiss Family Robinson, 119 

work, for the nuts fell down by scores. 
On these we made a feast, and the jests 
of Fritz and Jack went round ; for they 
did not spare poor Ned, who was lost 
in some new thought. 

When all at once up he sprang, took 
the shell of a nut in his left hand, and 
in his right a tin flask, and with a grave 
air spoke thus : — " Dear friends, I feel 
that all praise is due to the shark, whose 
skin gave you the means to climb so 
well. And though in the nuts which 
you have sent down to us we have 
found at once meat and drink, yet I 
hope by my skill to tempt your lips 
with some juice from this flask that will 
give joy to your hearts, and bring to 
mind the good feasts of our old 
Swiss home." 

He then bound his legs with the 
shark's skin, and sprang up a palm, 

1 20 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

which he had long been seen to gaze at 
through his glass. 

Ned took no heed of the loud laugh 
which the boys gave at this speech ; 
but as soon as he got to the top, he 
struck the tree with his axe, and a 
tuft of light green leaves fell at our 
feet, which I knew were those of the 

He now came down and held out 
to me his cup, which was full of a 
wine as pink as the rose, and then 
said, " I beg of you to drink my 

It was the true palm wine ; of it we 
all drank, and gave great praise to 
Ned, who thought no more of the 
jokes which had been thrown out at 

As it now grew late we set up the 
tent for the night, when all at once our 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 121 

ass, which till now had stood quite still 
near us, gave a loud bray, stuck up his 
ears, and with a kick right and left, 
gave a plunge, and was lost in the cane 

This I did not like at all ; for I felt 
loth to lose the poor ass that was of so 
much use to us, and more than this, I 
had my fears that some beast of prey was 
near, which he might have caught sight 
of. The dogs and I sought far and 
near for a trace of him, but in vain ; so 
then to guard the tent I made a large fire, 
which I sat to watch till the night was 
half spent, when as all was still, I crept 
to my bed of moss in the tent to sleep. 
At break of day we all fell on our knees 
to thank God for His gift of health and 

122 The Swiss Family Robinson. 


I then went with Jack in search of 
the ass, for I thought Fritz and Ned 
would make the best guard for my wife. 
We made a search in the cane wood for 
an hour or more, but still in vain. At 
last we saw the marks of hoofs and the 
foot marks of some beast that we knew 
not of. 

A long way off we saw some vague 
things, which I took for wild beasts, 
and as I went through a wood to see if 
our ass were with them, we came face 
to face with a herd of wild bulls 
and cows. And to see them troop 
up to us, lift their heads, and fix 
their large eyes on us, struck me with 
such awe that at first I could not use 
my gun. 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 123 

By good luck the dogs were in the 
rear. We drew back a pace or two, 
got out our arms, and then made off on 
one side, when up came Turk and 
Flox, and though we did all we could 
to hold them in, they would fly at the 

And now a scene took place which 
it makes my hair stand on end to think 
of. We heard a whole troop of them 
lift up their voice and roar, we saw them 
beat the ground with their feet, and 
butt with their horns. Our brave dogs 
went straight at them, and fell on a calf 
which they took hold of by the ears. 
The cow, whose eyes were red and 
whose blood would seem to boil with 
rage, came full drive at us to shield 
her young one, and with her the whole 

Just then — I shake with fear as I 

1 24 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

write it — I made a sign to my brave 
Jack, who was more cool than I, and 
we shot at them. 

This made the whole herd pause for 
a while, and they took to flight so fast 
that ere the smoke from the guns was 
blown off they were out of sight. My 
dogs still held their prize, and the cow, 
though she had two wounds from our 
shot, made a rush at us, and tore up 
the ground in her rage. She then set 
at the dogs to toss them with her 
horns; but just then I came up, and 
sent a shot in her head, which laid her 
dead on the spot. 

We now had time to take breath. 
We had seen death stare us in the face ; 
and we gave thanks to God, who 
had brought us through such great 

The dogs still held the calf by the 

The Swiss Family Robinson, 125 

ears ; the poor thing kept up a loud 
roar all the time, and I had my fears 
lest the dogs should be hurt, or lose 
their prize. I went up to give them 
help, but knew not how to act. It 
would have been no hard task to kill 
the calf ; but I had a great wish 
to bring him home and tame him, 
that he might take the place of our 

Now Jack hit on the right thing to 
do ; he flung a rope round the hind 
legs of the calf, and so threw him 
down ; then I came up, put a strong 
rope in the place of the thin one, 
and bound a loose cord round his fore 

Jack thought of the joy with which 
those at home would hail us when they 
saw us with this prize. But how 
were we to get the calf to move ? He 

126 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

would not stir a step ; at last I thought 
of the mode made use of in the East, 
which is to bore a hole in the nose, and 
put a cord through it. This cord was 
to serve as my rein to guide the poor 
beast, and the plan did well. 

I did not wish to leave the whole of 
the cow I had put to death, as the meat 
is so good, so I cut out the tongue and 
some of the best parts of the loin, put 
salt on them, and took them with me ; 
and I tore the skin off the fore legs, as 
I knew I could make good boots with 
it We let the dogs feast on the rest, 
and while they made their meal on 
it, we went to a stream to wash, 
and then sat in the shade of a large tree. 

Clouds of birds of prey came from 
all parts to feast on the cow, and a 
fight was kept up the whole time, till 
none was left but the bare bones. 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 127 

In the mean time the same sort of 
work went on at the tent ; for while 
Fritz and Ned had gone to the wood 
to cut down a palm tree, a troop of 
apes got in the tent, and ate all they 
could find. 

We made a fire of green wood, in 
the smoke of which we put the flesh 
of the wild cow, and left it there all 
night, and we found it was nice to the 


The next day we all set off home, 
and were glad to find that the calf 
could graze. He was now put to draw 
the cart by the side of his nurse (our 

128 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

own cow), and these took the place of 
our lost ass. 

Fritz and Jack now went to cut 
down the short wood to. make a road 
for the cart, and as they did so, the 
dogs, who were with them, burst 
out in howls and cries. I had much 
fear lest they should have met with 
a beast of prey ; so I made a rush to 
the spot, that I might use my gun, and 
found that the dogs kept some beast at 
bay ; but I could not see what it was 
for the thick shrubs. 

Fritz told me he had caught a 
glimpse of some wild beast with a 
black skin ; but Jack, who lay on the 
ground to spy at it, burst out with a 
loud laugh, and said. "It is one more 
trick of that old sow ! All she seems 
good for, I think, is to make fools of 
us!" Half in a rage, and half in 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 1 29 

mirth, we made our way up to the spot, 
and there she was with ten voung ones 
a few days old. We were glad to see our 
old friend with all these pigs round her, 
for which we gave her a stroke, and a soft 
grunt made it quite plain that it was as 
great a source of joy to her as it was to 
us. The poor thing knew not that our 
plan was to eat her young ones as soon 
as they were fit for the spit, and my 
wife and boys could not bear the 
thoughts of it. But I told them we 
must eat meat or die. 

At length we came to Kite's Nest, 
where our first work was to make some 
stairs in the place of the rope steps ; 
and this took us a month to do. 

" Come ! come and see Flox ! " said 

Frank, in high glee ; " she has six 

pups ! but I fear they are all blind." 

As these were more than we could 


1 30 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

keep, I had all put to death save two ; 
to which Frank gave the names of Bob 
and Nell. Frank, too, made great pets 
of three young kids which were just 
born, as well as the lambs ; and to love 
and make much of these was a new life 
to him. For fear our sheep should 
stray as the ass had done, we hung 
some small bells, which we had brought 
from the ship, round their necks. 


One day, just as we had come to the 
end of our work at the stairs, we heard 
some way off a noise like the roar of a 
wild beast, but with it a long sharp 
sound and a strange kind of hiss. Our 
dogs stuck up their ears, while we all 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 131 

got up a tree to look out, in no small 
fear of the noise, which we thought 
came more and more near. At length 
Fritz threw down his gun, and said 
with a loud laugh, " It is our friend the 
ass, come back to us with a song of 

We were now sure that he was right, 
and could not but feel a slight blush to 
think that we had been put to such 
fright by an ass. We soon saw him in 
the wood, and with him a friend of 
his own kind, which I at once knew 
to be the wild ass, and that it would 
be a great thing for us if we could 
catch him. 

The wild ass, as soon as he got sight 
of Fritz, threw up his head and gave 
a start back, as it was no doubt the first 
man that he had seen. Fritz went up 
to old Griz with some oats and salt, 

K 2 

132 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

and this he came straight up to eat as his 
old treat ; the wild ass, too, with a toss of 
the head and a snuff of the air, came so 
near that Fritz could throw a rope with a 
noose on his head. Thepoor beast swung 
round to fly from him, but that drew 
the cord so tight as to stop his breath ; 
so he lay down with his tongue out. 
I made all haste to throw a rope round 
his neck, and put a split cane on his 
nose, just as smiths do to tame a horse 
the first time they shoe him. I then 
took off the noose, and when I had 
made the rope fast to the roots of two 
trees, I left him to come to. 

In the mean time my wife and the 
rest of my boys had come round us to see 
this fine beast, whose form was so full 
of grace that he was all but as good as 
a horse. In a short time he rose, and 
beat the earth with his feet to get loose ; 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 133 

but the pain in his nose made him lie 
down once more. 

We took care to tie the feet of our 
own ass, so that he should not stray, 
and when we had put a stout rope 
on him we left him near his friend. 


I made use of all the means I could 
think of to tame our new guest, and at 
the end of a month I thought I might 
try to break him in. This was a long 
and tough task. We first put some 
weights on his back, but still he would 
not let us mount him. 

At last I thought of the mode they 
make use of in the Far West to tame 
the wild horse, and I made up my 

1 34 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

mind to try it. In spite of the bounds 
and kicks of the fierce beast, I leapt on 
his back, and took one of his long ears 
in my teeth and bit it till the blood 
came. Up he went on his hind legs, 
stood for a while quite stiff, then came 
down on his fore feet, while I still held 
on by his ear. At last I thought I 
might let him go ; he made some leaps, 
but soon went off in a sort of trot. 
From that time he was quite our slave ; 
my sons all got on his back, and they 
gave him the name of Light Foot. I 
had put loose cords on his fore legs, 
which we kept on for some time ; and, 
as he would not bear the bit, we had to 
guide him by a stick, with which we 
struck the right or left ear, as we might 
wish him to go. 

As the time for the great rains was 
now at hand, we had to make sheds 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 135 

for our beasts, to keep them safe and 
dry. We first made a roof on the top 
of the roots of our tree. For this we 
made use of canes, which we had to 
bind fast, and then to fill the cracks 
with moss and clay, and smear the 
whole with tar to keep out the rain. 

By the aid of some boards we made 
this one roof serve as well for our fowl 
house, hay house, and store room. 

One night when we were in the wood 
we heard the loud cries of some birds, 
and we made up our minds that Knips 
must have had a fight with some of 
them. So Ned went off to see what 
the noise was, and we soon heard him 
shout out, " Be quick ! a fine heath 
fowl's nest, full of eggs. Knips wants 
to suck them, and the old one is at 

Fritz ran up and caught both the old 

136 The Szviss Family Robinson. 

birds, while Ned brought back a large 
nest full of eggs. Knips had done 
us a good turn this time ; for the 
nest lay hid in a bush with such long 
leaves — of which Ned had his hand 
full — that but for the sharp sight of the 
ape we could not have found it out. 
I need not say how glad Ned was to 
take the nest and eggs home to my 
dear wife, and the long leaves he meant 
to give to Frank, to serve as toy 


We then set out on our way back, Ned 
with the two fowls, while I took charge 
of the eggs, which I found were still 
warm, and I had some hopes that the 
bird would hatch out the brood when 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 137 

we got to Kite's Nest. Fritz rode 
Light Foot, and in his wish to be first 
to take the good news to my wife, struck 
his steed with a bunch of the long leaves 
which he took from Ned. This gave 
Light Foot such a start that he flew 
out of sight, like a shaft from a bow, 
and did not stop till he got to his home. 
My wife put the eggs in the nest of one 
of her hens, while the heath fowl was 
made safe in a cage and hung up in our 
room to make her tame. I n a few days 
a score of young chicks came forth from 
the eggs, and were soon as tame as our 
own fowls ; though when they were full 
grown I cut their wings, lest in a wild 
mood they might fly off. 

Frank did not long care for the new 
toy that Ned had brought him in the 
shape of the long leaves, and they were 
thrown on one side. But Fritz by 

138 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

chance took up some of these leaves, which 
were now quite dry and soft, and he told 
Frank to make whips of them to drive 
the sheep and goats, of which the small 
boy had charge. As he split these 
leaves in strips, I found that they were 
a kind of flax, and when I told this to 
my wife, she said, " Bring me all the 
leaves you can at once, and I will 
make you socks, shirts, coats, thread, 
cords — in fact, give me but flax and 
tools, and I know not what I could 
not do." 

So Fritz and Jack went off to get 
a fresh store of the leaves. 


In the mean time my wife told me 
what tools I must make, that she 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 139 

might spin and weave, and clothe 
us from head to foot ; her eyes were 
bright with joy as she spoke, and 
I gave her my word that I would do 
all that she could ask. In a short time 
our boys came back with a large store 
of these leaves, which they laid at the 
feet of my wife. The first thing was 
to steep them till they were quite moist ; 
so we got out the cart and took a load 
of leaves to the marsh, where we threw 
them out in a pond, with stones on the 
top to keep them down. 

In two weeks' time the flax was fit to 
take out of the pond ; we then spread 
it in the sun, which made it so soon dry 
that we brought it to Kite's Nest the 
same night, and laid it up in the store. 

As we thought that the time of rain 
was now near at hand, we brought in, from 
day to day, loads of roots, nuts, wood, 

140 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

canes, fruit, and all that might be of use 
to us. We made the most of the last 
few fine days to sow our wheat and 
grain, that the rain might make them 
grow. We had had a slight fall of rain, 
the sky was dark with clouds, and the 
wind rose. We did not think the change 
would come so soon ; but we now heard 
the winds rage through the woods, and 
the sea foam and roar ; the clouds burst 
in the sky, and rain fell night and day ; 
the streams kept no more to their 
banks, and the fields were one huge lake. 
By good luck we had made our home 
high up in the vale, and we found that 
we were left in a sort of isle in the 
midst of the great flood. But the rain 
came through the roof on all sides, and 
from hour to hour we thought the wind 
would blow our house off the tree, and 
all that were in it. 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 141 

We set to work to move our beds 
to the small space where the high roots 
of the trees made a roof for our beasts ; 
but there was no room to move, the 
smoke of a fire would choke us, and 
if we went out the rain would drench us. 
For the first time since our wreck we did 
now long and sigh for our old home. 

I made the wild calf and Light Foot 
half free, but took care that they should 
not stray, and they had to seek a roof from 
the boughs of the tree. We had need 
of but few fires, for it was not cold, and 
we had not much that we could wish to 
cook ; but we had a good store of milk, 
dry meat, fish, and cakes. At break 
of day we sent out some of our live 
stock, round the necks of which we had 
put bells ; and at night Fritz and I had 
to seek them and bring them in, when 
we were sure to get wet through. So 

142 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

my wife made us a sort of frock with a 
hood out of some old clothes, which, 
with the help of some gum, kept out 
the rain. 

The care of our beasts took up the 
first part of the day, and then we had 
to bake our cakes. Though we had a 
glass door to our hut, the dark sky, and 
the vast boughs of the tree, which hung 
round us, made the night come on much 
too soon. Our light we had to fix in 
a gourd, round which we all sat. 


While I wrote down all that took 
place, my wife would mend our clothes, 
and Fritz and Jack taught Frank to 
read and write, or draw the plants, 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 143 

beasts, and birds that they had been 
struck with. 

At dawn, and at the end of each day, 
we read in turns from the Book of 
God's Word, which we had brought 
from the wreck. My kind wife would 
now and then give us a feast in the 
shape of a roast fowl, or duck, and once 
in four or five days we had fresh cheese 
made in the gourd churn. 

What was left at our meals we gave 
to our pets. We had four dogs, a tame 
hawk, and the ape, which were to be 
fed from our hands. But if the wild 
calf, Light Foot, and the sow could not 
have found their own food, they must 
have been left to die, for we had none 
to give them. 

We made up our minds that should 
we live till this time next year, we 
would not spend it in such a house, 

144 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

but that we would build a new one 
which could be made safe from the 
wind and rain, and then come back to 
our tree at the warm time of the year. 

One night we all sat round the fire 
to talk of our plans, when the thought 
came to my mind that we might choose 
as the place of our home the rocks at 
Tent House. This I knew would be 
a work of great toil, but with time we 
felt sure that it could be done. 

I need not say what joy we felt when 
at length we saw the sun spread its 
bright rays through the dark clouds ; 
the winds were still, the floods had 
sunk, and the air was mild and calm. 
We went out with shouts of glee to 
breathe the pure air, and gaze on the 
fresh grass that now sprang up at our 

All things had a look of youth once 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 145 

more, and in the midst of these 
bright charms, we lost sight of our 
cares, and sent up a hymn of thanks to 
the God of all good. 

Our plants and seeds had done well ; 
the air was sweet with their smell, and 
the songs and cries of flocks of birds 
that were at work with their nests gave 
life to the scene. Our first task was to 
clear out the rooms where we slept in 
the tree, and in a few days they were 
fit to dwell in. 

My wife set to work with her flax ; 
while my sons led out the beasts to 
graze. We then had to dry our flax, 
and strip, beat, and comb it ; and we 
drew out such soft, fine stuff that my 
wife was wild with joy, and would let 
me have no rest till I had made her a 

In my youth I had had a taste for 

146 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

the lathe, and though I had now no 
tools, I knew how a wheel and a reel 
should be made ; and as soon as I had 
got these out of hand, my wife set to 
work to spin with so much zeal that she 
would scarce leave her wheel to take 
a walk or to cook our meals. She got 
Frank to reel off the thread as she spun 
it, and would have had the rest take her 
place when she left it ; yet none of them 
but Ned would do what they said was 
"girls' work.'' 


In the mean time we went to Tent 
House to see the state of things, and 
found that the rain had done more harm 
there than at Kites Nest. The storm 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 147 

had thrown down the tent, and blown 
off some of the sail cloth, and a great 
part of our stores were so wet that they 
were not good for food. Our fine yacht 
was still safe, and fit for use, but our 
tub boat was quite spoilt. 

We now felt that we must have a 
roof to shield us, more strong than a 
tent or the boughs of trees. The rocks 
round Tent House stood up like a hard 
wall, and had no cracks through which 
we could pierce them. But we made 
up our minds to have some sort of cave 
at all costs. So we set to work to hew 
the stone. We chose a fine site for 
a house, with a view of the whole bay, 
and of the two banks of the great 
stream as well as of Swiss Bridge. 

The sun had made the rock so hard 
that our first blows made but a slight 
mark on it. But at the end of five or 

L 2 

148 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

six days, we found it more soft, and at 
last we came to a sort of clay which we 
could dig out with spades. This gave 
us hopes, and in a short time we had 
made way to a depth of eight feet. One 
day while Jack was at work with a crow 
bar, we heard him call out : 

" I have cut through ! " 

" Not through your hand, child ? \ 
said I. 

" No," said he ; " I have cut through 
the rock." 

Fritz ran in at the shout, and told 
him he might as well have said at once 
he had cut through the earth. But Jack 
said, though Fritz might laugh, he was 
quite sure he had felt a space with his bar. 

I took a long pole to probe the 
hole, and found there must be a cave 
of some size. But as I put my face 
down to look in, a rush of bad air 

The Swiss Family Robinson, 149 

brought on a sort of head ache, and 
made me feel quite faint. 

" Come off, boys," said I ; " the air 
you would breathe there might cause 
your death." 

I then sent them to get some hay, to 
which I set a light and threw it in the 
cave ; but it was at once put out by the 
foul gas. 

We had brought from the ship a box 
of squibs ; so I threw in some of these, 
and set a light to them by a long match, 
which gave us time to get out of the 
way. When they went off the gas 
came out with a rush, and the pure air 
took its place. I put in some more hay 
which burnt with a bright blaze, so I 
knew that we were now safe from the 
gas ; but for fear of pits or pools I 
would not go in till we had some lights. 
So I sent off Jack on Light Foot to 

150 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

tell the news to my wife, and bring all 
the lights they could find. 

Jack went off with a crack of his whip 
in such haste that he made my hair 
stand on end. While he was gone, 
Fritz and I gave more width to the 
hole, and swept a clean road for my 
wife. Just as we had done this we 
heard the sound of wheels on the bridge, 
and the cart came in sight, drawn by 
the cow and ass, while Jack rode in 
front on Light Foot, and blew through 
his hands as if it had been a horn. 

I then gave one light to each, with 
some flints and a steel ; and we took arms 
with us, and set forth in a slow line for the 
heart of the cave. I went first, then my 
big boys, and then my wife and Frank. 
We had gone but a few steps, when we 
came to a stop, quite struck with awe ; 
the scene round us was a blaze of bright 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 151 

light, and we found that we were in a 
cave of gems, which hung from the high 
roof in all forms and shapes. 

The floor was smooth with fine dry 
sand. I broke off one of the gems to 
judge what they were, and found to my 
great joy that it was a cave of rock 
salt. This was in truth a mine of great 
wealth ; for salt was good for our beasts 
as well as for us, and would cost us 
now no toil to get. 

Blocks of salt lay on the ground, and 
I had some fears lest more should fall 
on us : so when the rest had left, Fritz 
and I let off our guns, but not more 
than two or three lumps came down. 
We were now sure that our cave was 
quite safe as a place to dwell in ; so we 
spent each day at Tent House at work 
on our new home, and went back at 
night to Kite's Nest. 

152 The Swiss Family Robinson, 


One day when we were at work at 
the rock at Tent House we were struck 
with a strange sight. A large part of the 
sea would seem to boil, and now and 
then small flames shot up and were 
seen no more, while huge flocks of sea 
birds flew round it with loud cries, and 
here and there took a plunge in the 
waves. We ran down to the bay and 
found that this was a shoal of fish, so 
dense that they were like a sand bank 
some miles in length. We sent at once 
for our pails to hold them, and made 
plans as to how we should take so rich 
a prize. Fritz and Jack stood up to 
their waists in the sea, and threw them 
up on the sand. My wife and Ned 

The Swiss Family Robinson, 153 

then set to work to clean them and rub 
them with salt, that we might have a 
store of them for the cold time of the 

These fish drew to the spot a shoal 
of sea dogs, some of which we caught 
for the sake of their skin and oil, which 
we might burn in lamps or use for 

At this time I put my sledge on 
wheels that I took from the guns of the 
ship, and made it so low that we could 
place great weights on it. 

In a month we had one more shoal 
of fish, which Jack was the first to find 
out. They were so large that he was 
sure they must be whales. Jack ran at 
once for his bow, and made fast a ball 
of string to a dart with a hook at the 
end of it. He then made the ball safe 
on the shore, took his bow, put the dart 

154 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

in it, and shot a large fish in the side. 
The fish fought hard to get free, but at 
length weak with the loss of blood, we 
drew him to the land with the cord, and 
put an end to him. 

Ned took his rod and caught some 
trout, while I struck some huge fish 
with a large prong. The hard part of 
our task was to get the spoil to land. 
Fritz had struck a fish of at least eight 
feet long, which was more than a match 
for us all, till my wife brought up Light 
Foot, to whom we bound the line, and 
so got this great prize to shore. 

As we had more fish than we could 
eat, we had to dry and salt some, or 
boil them in oil ; and the roe of the 
large fish we kept by us as a great 

When this was done, our next task 
was to plan a boat to take the place of 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 155 

our tub raft. I had a great wish to 
make one of bark, as the wild men do : 
so we set out in search of a tree for 
that end. All those near our house 
were worth too much to cut down, some 
for their fruit and some for their shade : 
so we made up our minds to search for 
trees a good way off, and on the road 
we took stock of our plants and fields. 
Our peas, beans, maize, and canes had 
grown well, and the pines on the high 
ground gave us hopes of a rich feast. 

One fine day we set out for Kite's 
Nest to see the state of things there. 
We found my wife's fields of wheat, 
oats, and beans were for the most part 
fit to cut, though our best crop was the 
maize. But birds of all kinds, from the 
heath fowl to the quail, had made their 
homes round them, and it would seem 
that they did not mean to leave much 

156 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

for us. Fritz let loose his hawk and 
flew it at some of them. The bird at 
once went up in the air and shot down 
on a fine fowl, which it laid at the feet 
of Fritz. We got, too, a score of fat 
quails, which made a nice feast for us. 
My wife made some juice of green 
maize, and this was a sweet and fresh 
drink, as white as milk. 

We then put to rights our house at 
Kite's Nest, and laid by our wheat till 
we should have time to thrash and 
grind it. Fritz thought we could build 
a mill on the stream ; but for this bold 
scheme, as yet, we had not time. 

The next day we set out on a tour to 
look out for a spot on which to build 
a farm house for some of our live stock, 
where they could find their own food. 
My wife chose out twelve young fowls, 
and I took four young pigs, four sheep, 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 157 

and two goats. These, with all the 
tools which we might need, were put in 
the cart, and drawn by Light Foot, the 
cow, and our old friend, the ass. Fritz 
rode first on Light Foot to guide us ; 
and on the road we found some new 
trees and plants, which were of great 
use to us. 


When we had made our way through 
the high grass of the plain, we came to 
the top of a hill, from which we had a 
grand view of the land that lay at our 
feet. Trees grew thick on the sides of 
the hill, and made a screen from the 
north wind, and a fine stream ran 
through the rich fields. We saw at 

158 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

once that we must make this the site of 
our farm. 

We set up our tent, made a fire, and 
went to work to cook some food. 
Fritz and I then went in search of a 
spot on which to build our farm house, 
and we chose a group of trees which 
grew so close as to make quite a wall 
of wood. Here we brought our tools, 
but as the day was far gone, we went 
back to sleep in our tent. In our 
search for trees and bark, our goats led 
us to find out a rare kind of spice, and 
some gum which would take the place 
of pitch for the boat we meant to 

We went on with our work at the 
new farm house, which took us some 
days. We made the walls of thin 
laths and reeds, six feet high, and we 
took care to let in light and air. One 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 159 

room was for our own use when we 
chose to come to the farm, and all the 
rest was kept for our live stock. But 
we could not get on fast with our work 
from want of skill. 

While Fritz and Jack had gone to 
Kite's Nest to bring back a fresh stock 
of food, Ned and I thought we would 
make a short tour. We went up the 
stream for some time, which led us to a 
large marsh, and here we found a lake 
full of wild fowl. Round this lake 
there grew some tall thick grass, with 
ears of grain, which I found to be a 
small kind of rice ; and we took some 
of it home to show to our good cook, 
who would I knew think it a great 

We then went round the lake, where 
a new scene burst on our view on each 
side. In the mean time Ned, with 

1 60 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

great skill, brought down some birds, 
while Knips found out some choice 
fruits. In the midst of the birds of all 
kinds, we were most struck with a pair 
of black swans, and it was a treat to 
stand and watch them glide, like a ship 
in full sail, on the bright face of this 
clear lake. Ned would have shot some 
more birds, but I bade him not break 
the charm which the hush of the scene 
gave to it. As to the lake, none but a 
Swiss, who from his youth looks on 
such scenes, can judge of the joy we 
felt. We thought we were once more 
in our own dear land, but the huge 
trees and the rare plants put us 
in mind how far we were from it. 

One of the dogs caught a most 
strange beast as it swam at the edge 
of the lake, and brought it to us. It 
had web feet, a thick tail, small head 


The Swiss Family Robinson. 1 6 1 

and ears, and a long flat bill, like that 
of a duck. None of us knew what 
it was : so I gave it the name of the 
beast with a bill, and I told Ned to 
take it home and stuff it. 

On our way back to Kite's Nest 
we went through the wood of apes, 
when the rogues threw a cloud of fir 
cones at us ; but a few shots put them to 
flight. The cones were of use to us, so 
we took a bag of them home. 

We then came to a small hill, from 
the top of which we had a view of rich 
plains, streams, and woods full of bright 
plants and gay birds. " Here, my 
boys," said I, "here we will build a 
house for the hot time of the year." 
In ten days from this time we had built 
a house, and we gave it the name of 
View Hill. 

But I had not yet met with a tree 


1 62 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

that would suit me for a boat. So we 
went back, and at last I chose a sort of 
oak, the bark of which was more like 
that of the cork tree. We first had to 
fell it, which took us some time ; and 
then we cut out the trunk in the shape 
of a boat, though we made it look more 
like a trough ; and it was then left in 
the sun to dry. 

As there was still much to do to it, I 
sent Fritz and Jack to Tent House 
for the sledge, that we might move the 
boat there. We now set hard to work 
at it, and made a mast, a keel, seats, 
brass rings for the oars, and stays for 
the mast. To give it weight, I put 
down some stones and clay with boards 
on the top, and we could then boast 
that our boat was fit for sea. 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 163 


In the mean time our cow had borne 
a young male calf : so as the rest of the 
boys had steeds to ride, I gave it to 
Frank to teach and train. 

We now spent all our time at the 
cave at Tent House, that we might have 
it warm and snug when the rain and cold 
should come. The beams and planks 
from the ship were a great help to us 
when we made the rooms that we 
meant to live in, but the part for our 
live stock we built of stone to keep out 
the smell. The floor we made of a 
sort of clay, which, when dry, was 
smooth and hard, and on it we put 
sail cloth, wool, and goat's hair, which 
with some gum made a kind of felt. 
We made one of these felt cloths for 

164 The Swiss Family Robinson. 

each room to keep out the damp ; so 
that when the rain came at last, we had 
a warm and safe home. At break of 
day we went to our work room, while 
my wife took her wheel or her loom, 
and I made a sort of lathe out of the 
wheel of a gun, with which Ned 
could turn some neat things with much 

Our room was bright with lights, 
which we did not spare, as we could get 
them with so much ease. For Jack 
and Frank I made flutes out of reeds, 
on which they soon learnt to play well, 
and my wife, who had a good voice, 
sang to their notes. 

I made a small church in that part 
of the cave which shone with so bright 
a light, and here we went each day 
to pray. Thus we spent our days free 
from care and gloom. As far as we 

The Swiss Family Robinson. 165 

knew, we might have to pass the rest of 
our lives on this lone shore. We had 
good health and sound hearts, so that 
we could work with a will, and our 
minds grew more full and strong from 
day to day. 

We saw round us on all sides the 
signs of a wise and good God. In 
Him I put my trust that He would 
give us back to the world, or send some 
friends to join us in the isle, where for 
two years we had seen no trace of man. 
To Him did our hearts turn, and to 
Him we left our fate. 




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